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INSURRECTION 

OF 

POLAND 

In 1830-31 ; 

AND 

THE RUSSIAN RULE 

PRECEDING IT SINCE 1816. 



BY S. B. GNOROWSKI. 



• • • * " O gens 

Infelix, cui te exitio fortuna reservat ? 

• • ••• • • • • 

Si genus humanum et mortalia temnitis arma. 
At sperate Deos memores fandi atque nefandL" 



LONDON : 
JAMES RIDGWAY, PICCADILLY. 



MDCCCXXXIX. 



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^Uy S6<^0A 6 



Harvaid CoUe^e Library 

jQty 1. 1014. 

Bequest of 

CtoOrgina LoveU Putnam 



LONDON : 
PRINTED BT T. BRETTELL, RUPERT STREET, HAYMARKET. 



'3^ 



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TO 

THOMAS CAMPBELL, ESQ. 

THE AUTHOR OF " THE PLEASURES OF HOPE," &c. dec. &c 
THE FIRST PRESIDENT 



LONDON LITERARY ASSOCIATION OF THE FRIENDS OF 
POLAND ; 

THE EARLIEST, THE MOST TALENTED, GENEROUS, AND 
PERSEVERING CHAMPION 



POLISH CAUSE IN ENGLAND; 

WHOSE GENIUS 
HAS EVER BEEN DEVOTED TO LIBERTY, JUSTICE, and TRUTH ; 

MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED, 

BY THE AUTHOR. 



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LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



AsHBURNHAM, Countess of 



COPIES. 

1 



Bacon, J. Esq. 
Barathy, Miss 
Barathy, Miss Sophia 
Barathy, Miss Louisa 
Beolchi, C. Esq. 
Bisset, Lady Catherine 
BlundeU, E. S. Esq. M.D. 
Bowyer, George, Esq. 
Brent, J. Esq. Sen. 
Brent, J. Esq. Jan. 



Campbell, Thomas, Esq. ...... 

The Canterbury Association of the Friends of Poland 

Cape, L. Esq. M. D. 

Clark, Henry, Esq 

Clarkson, Mrs. 

Codrington, Rev. Thomas 

The Committee of the Canterbury Philosophical Institu- 
tion 

Cruickshank, Alexander, Esq 



h 



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VI LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

COPIES. 

Cunning, Miss 1 

Cunningham, Miss 2 

Czartoryski, Prince Witold 1 

Davy, Gfeneral Sir William 1 

Domville, Sir William 2 

Doian, Captain 1 

Duncan and Malcolm, Messis. Booksellers and Publishers 1 

Cbirrard, Mrs. Drake 1 

Geldard, Richard, Esq 1 

Hughes, Miss Susan 1 

Hum, Miss 1 

James, Miss 1 

James, Rev. Maurice 1 

Jenkins, Robert, Esq. 1 

Jenkins, William, Esq. 1 

Kater, Edward, Esq. 1 

Kirby, J. B. Esq 2 

A Lady 2 

A Lady 1 

The London Literary Association of the Friends of 

Poland 30 

Marshall, Mrs. 1 



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LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. YU 

COPIES. 

MarshaU, Miss ....... 

Mathias, Miss 

Morawski, Theodor, a Member of the Polish Diet 

Niemcewicz, J. U. Senator Castellan 



Pickwick, Captain 
Pigou, Frederick, Esq. 
Pollard, Mrs. 
Prower, Rev. John 



Roberts, Mrs. 
Russell, James, Esq. 



Sawkins, Miss 

Scott, J. Esq. M.D. 

Scott, Mrs. 

Scott, Edward, Esq 

Shepherd, Miss ........ 

Sheridan, Charles, Esq. 

Shierson, R. Esq. 

Sienkiewicz, Charles, Esq. 

Singleton, Honorable Mrs 

Sinnett, John, Esq 

Skerrett, Miss 

Skerrett, Miss H. C 2 

Smith, Miss 2 

Smith, Mrs. W. 1 



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VIU 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



COPIES. 

Smith, Octs. Esq 

Smith, Wright John, Esq 

Smith, Wright, Esq. 

Somerville, Miss S 

Storey, Miss Charlotte Sophia 

Storey, Miss Mervinia Margaret 

Storey, Miss Anna Maria Antonia .... 

Stuart, Lord Dudley Coutts 10 

Sutherland, Mrs. Colonel 

Szczepanowski, Lieutenant Ignace .... 

Szyrma, Miss Bozena 

Sz3Tma, Miss Czeslava ... ... 



Trollope, Mrs. 
Touchet, Miss 
Tuckett, W. J. W. Esq. 



Upton, Honorable Miss 



Wilmot-Horton, Sir Robert 

Wildman, Colonel 

Winterbottom, Masterman Thos. Esq. M.D. . 

Wiltshire, John, Esq 

Wirtemberg, Maria, (bom Princess Czartoryska), Princess of. 



Young, G. A. Esq. . 
Zamoyski, Ladislaus, Count Colonel 



2 
2 



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IxXTRODUCTION. 3 

reversing ail that his mother had done, Paul had 
already shown a disposition to restore the kingdom, 
and had caused the skeleton of Stanislaus to be 
crowned in its coffin — as he had before crowned that 
of his own father — when, after this last strange act, 
he was declared insane, and soon after strangled. 

Moved by self-interest, rather than by a filial 
desire of vengeance, Alexander feigned an inclination 
to carry the scheme of Peter into effect ; and whilst 
supporting Austria with his presence in 1805, he ob- 
tained, by intrigue, from her Polish subjects and from 
those of Prussia, an invitation to be their king, and 
actually bore that title for three days. His fear lest 
Napoleon, by wresting Galicia from Austria, should 
prepare the way for the restoration of the whole 
kingdom, induced this measure ; his generosity in- 
creased, and he grew more and more lavish of pro- 
mises and pity to the Poles, as it appeared more 
probable that Napoleon would attempt to humble 
Prussia and Austria, and stifle the coalition by their 
re-establishment. Sparing no pains to gain their 
love, to sow dissensions amongst them, and, lastly, 
to render them hostile towards the French, he sent for 
General Kjiiaziewicz, then living retired in Volhy- 
nia, to his head-quarters near Konigsberg, to tell 
him that " the partition of Poland was a political 
" crime, to which, had he then been emperor, he 
" would never have consented, and which he now 
" felt himself bound in conscience to repair, as far 
" as lay in his power." He then offered to equip 



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4 • INTRODUCTION. 

some Polish legions to be under the command of 
Kniaziewicz *. At this time, however, the French 
had occupied Warsaw, and every Pole believed that a 
part at least of his country would again become in- 
dependent, in which case the Polo-Russian legions 
would have been a protest of the Poles themselves 
against their own wishes. The general, therefore, re- 
membering that " 'Tis time to fear when tyrants seem 
" to kiss," declined the offer, saying that, " he shud- 
" dered at the bare idea of a fratricidal war." The 
treaty of Tilsit (the 7th of July, 1807,) put an end 
to hostilities, and 43,000 square miles of Polish ter- 
ritory, wrested from Prussia, were then erected into 
the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, under Frederick 
Augustus, king of Saxony f , in whose family the 
Polish throne had been declared hereditary, by the 
constitution of the 3rd of May, 1791. At the same 
time the city of Dantzic was declared free, and the dis- 
trict of Bialystock (3,200 square miles) was ceded to 
Alexander, who did not scruple to despoil his Prus- 
sian ally, and had further insisted that no part of 
Poland should recover its name. Thus was Poland 
dismembered for the fourth time ; and if Alexander 
had condemned the former partitions, it was only 
because the whole of the kingdom did not fall to 
his share. 

The duchy of Warsaw answered Napoleon's pur- 

* Memoirs of Count Oginski. 

t He was the son of Augustus IIL, King of Poland. 



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INTRODUCTION. ^ 

poses. It equipped an army of 30,000 men, of which 
the greater part was employed against the indepen- 
dence of Spain. Prince Joseph Poniatowski could, 
in 1809, only bring 9000 men to oppose 30,000 Aus- 
trians under the Archduke Ferdinand; yet even these 
few repulsed their adversaries, and reconquered a 
considerable part of Galicia. Their further progress 
was, however, paralyzed by Alexander, who, appre- 
hensive for his own interests, hastened with 48.000 
men to give a feigned support to Napoleon. 

By the treaty of Schonbrunn (October 14, 1809) 
the palatinates of Lublin, Podlachia, Sandomir, and 
Cracow (20,000 square miles), and one-half of the 
salt mines of Wieliczka, were addded to tlie duchy j 
Austria retaining the rest of Galicia, the province 
of Tarnopol (2600 square miles) excepted, which 
Alexander reclaimed for himself. In this fifth par- 
tition of Poland Napoleon was the less excusable, 
as Austria had offered to renounce the whole of 
Galicia in consideration of a trifling compensation 
in lUyria. 

Since the treaty of Tilsit, the two great objects — 
the partition of Turkey, and the prevention of the 
.re-establishment of Poland — inseparably connected^ 
had filled the mind of Alexander. Napoleon, on the 
other hand, hampered by Spanish affairs, and more 
than ever needing the emperor's co-operation against 
England, had, at the conference of Erfurt, made im- 
mense concessions to him, actually engaging not to 
move in favour of the Poles. The late additions to the 



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6 INTRODUCTION. 

duchy rendering Alexander apprehensive that he in 
his turn might be called upon to expiate his share 
in the partition, he demanded from Napoleon an 
explicit promise, that the kingdom should never be 
restored. 

To avoid the ridicule as well as the odium at- 
tendant on his assuming a tone suited only to the 
Deity, Napoleon at once cut the knot, by transmitting 
the following declaration to the Duke de Vincence, 
his ambassador at the Court of St. Petersburgh : — 
** Si je signais que le rayaume de Pologne ne sera 
" jamais ritabli, c'est que je vpudrais le ritahlir, et 
** Tinfamie cPune telle diclaration serait effacee par le 
" fait quide dimentirait *." 

The mere existence of the duchy was, indeed, 
under any circumstances, a source of much uneasi- 
ness to Russia; since, in the event of a French war, 
her Polish provinces would inevitably separate from 
her de facto, and her expulsion from Europe might 
be the consequence. So impressed was Alexander 
by this idea, that, on receiving tidings of Napoleon's 
marriage with the Archduchess Louisa, he is reported 
to have shed tears, and to have uttered these memo- 
rable words : — ^^ I foresee the fate of Russia ; the. 
'^ moment is approaching when I shall bid farewell to 
" Europe and welcome to the steppes of Asia." A 
rupture between these two autocrats becoming daily 
more probable, Alexander endeavoured to preserve by 

* Bignon, Histoire de France sous Napoleon. 



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INTRODUCTION. 7 

intrigue what he could not defend by force. " Do 
" you desire a constitution?" said he to some of 
the Poles at St, Petersburgh — " You shall have it. 
" Would you be again united ? You shall be so. 
" Why should not I take the title of King of Poland, 
^* if that would please you — (si cela pent vous faire 
" plaisir*).'' So artfully did he conduct himself, that 
it almost seemed as if he wished to snatch from 
Napoleon the glory of the re-establishment. 

To give some colouring to his flattering promises, 
he affected much anxiety for the happiness of his 
Polish subjects ; and that those of the Vistula might 
understand his disposition, and not pity their 
brethren beyond the Bug, whilst these on their part 
should have no cause to envy the independence of 
the others, he summoned Count Oginski to listen to 
a scheme for erecting the provinces into a kingdom, 
united with Russia, as Hungary is with Austria; as 
well as to " his grand project," unless prevented by 
fresh war, for ameliorating the condition of the in- 
habitants. Eight distinguished Lithuanians were 
commissioned to prepare the draft of a constitution 
for the provinces, and two Polish generals were to 
draw up a plan for organising a national army. 
The necessity of calming the patriotism which found 
its focus in the duchy, and of consigning, if possible, 
to oblivion, the injuries inflicted by Russia on the 
Lithuanians during the preceding fifty years j the 

* Memoirs of Count Ogiuski. 



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8 INTRODUCTION. 

necessity, in short, of paralysing the efforts of the 
Poles in the approaching struggle, prompted him to 
these measures, which have since been deemed mag- 
nanimous ; and many Lithuanians, though prover- 
bial for caution, fell into the snare, hoping to enjoy 
from him the benefits of a constitution, whilst their 
own efforts might have rendered them free and 
independent. 

Napoleon, on his part, did much to counteract the 
exertions of the Poles. His evasive answer, when 
requested at Vilno (1812) to proclaim their indepen- 
dence, might be epitomized in the thrice repeated 
words — if — if — if. To comprehend his motives on 
that occasion, it should be recollected, that he did 
not wish irrevocably to break with Alexander, by 
depriving him of his Polish provinces ; that the ob- 
ject of his campaign was to crush England, and with 
that view to dictate from Moscow a treaty, despatch- 
ing a joint force of French and Russians to India *. 

* Prior to the campaign of 1812, he had sent M. Gardanne to 
Persia, ostensibly for scientific purposes, but really to discover 
the best overland route to India. M. Gardanne corresponded with 
the emperor from Teheran, vid Russia, and it was some time before 
the Russian government suspected the object of his mission. 
At the commencement of the war of 1812, his maps and papers 
fell accidentally into the hands of the Czar, who then engaged him 
and his thirteen companions in his own service. A copy of Napo- 
leon's plan was subsequently found in the War Ojfice at Paris, 
and of this Alexander possessed himself during his stay there. 
The proposed campaign had been calculated for 70,000 men, 
French and Russian. They were to reach the Indus in less than 



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INTRODUCTION. V) 

Believing his quota of men to be already sufficient, 
he discouraged the Poles from arming ; 70,000, 
nevertheless, joined his army. The frost defeated 
his gigantic schemes. Had he followed a simpler 
and less unjust course, and taken up his winter 
quarters in Poland, he might still have been Empe- 
ror, and Poland might have been free. This un- 
looked-for overthrow inflamed the ambition of Alex- 
ander, who next determined to appropriate the whole 
of Poland, by means in which the Poles themselves 
should concur. With this view, therefore^, whilst in 
Paris, he paid great court to all those who distin- 
guished themselves against Russia, especially to Kos- 
ciuszko, placing an honorary guard at his residence, 
and overwhelming him with offers for his ill-fated 
countrymen. Sensible of their helpless condition, 
Kosciuszko confined himself to the following de- 
mands : — " That the Emperor should grant them full 
" amnesty — that he should proclaim himself King of 
" Poland, and give a constitution resembling that of 
" Britain." Would the Emperor but grant these con- 
ditions, Kosciuszko, who had refused to listen to Na- 
poleon, offered, though out of health, to serve Alex- 
ander in person, as a faithful subject. The Czar pur- 
posely delayed his answer till the 3rd of May — the 
day dear to every Pole — and then promised all— . 
the best proof that he intended to perform little. 

119 days, the principal stations being Taganrog, Palubiarskaya, 
Czarytchyn, Astrachan, and Astrabad, from which place Napo- 
leon assigned forty-five days march to the river. 



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10 INTRODUCTION. 

Whilst Kosciuszko and other eminent patriots were 
thus begging for a constitutional Poland under his 
^ sceptre, the Congressof Vienna, nioved by the active 
p ; fj ?^\^|though invisible influence of Prince Adam Czarto- 
V- , ' ryski, resolved to re-establish the whole kingdoni ; 
\ not from any respect to national rights, since at the 
\ ^ same moment they were violating those of other 

; , ' countries, but from, a sense of self-interest and self- 
preservation. 

The fall of Constantinople being the inevitable 
result of the partition of Poland, and of most con- 
sequence to Great Britain, Lord Castlereagh was 
the first to demand the complete re-establishment of 
Poland under a dynasty of her own. Prince Met- 
ternich declared that the Emperor was ready to 
make the greatest sacrifices to effect this consumma- 
tion, and Prince Talleyrand supported these minis- 
ters with great force of argument. Prussia merely 
offered to restore her share for a compensation in 
Germany. Alexander was determined, at all events, 
to wrest from Europe the nation thus considered 
essential to her future security, and hoped so to 
contrive as to make the Poles themselves accessory 
to his designs. 

His troops still occupied the duchy of Warsaw, 
and a Polish army was by his orders being rapidly 
organized throughout the territory, although he was 
pledged by the treaty of Reichenbach (27th of June, 
1813), and by that of Toplitz (the 9th of Septem- 
ber, 1813), to decide, in common with Prussia and 



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INTRODUCTION. 



Poland^ in the Progress of Restoration^ and at the 
Congress of Vienna. 

Since the last partition of Poland in 1795, her 
independence has never been entirely annihilated. 
Until 1806 it survived in the legions of Dombrowski 
and Kniaziewicz, fighting for the French in Italy, 
Egypt, Germany, and St. Domingo, where no less 
than 30,000 Poles perished. To their valour Bona- 
parte bore witness, saying, that " they fought like 
'* devils ;" but when they demanded to share in the 
benefit secured by treaties, he only answered, " that 
" the prayers of every friend of freedom were for 
" the brave Poles, but that time and destiny alone 
" could re-establish them." What he called destiny, 
they held to be the justice of their cause ; and, 
confident in its ultimate success, fought on, to their 
war-cry, " Poland is not lost while we live*." 

Fully sensible how important the Poles would 
prove to him as allies in the expedition of 1806, 

* The first line of a Mazurka, composed for the legions, which 
subsequently became the most popular of their national airs. 

B 



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2 INTRODUCTION. 

against the united forces of Prussia and Russia, 
Napoleon would gladly have persuaded Kosciuszko, 
then living at Fontainebleau, and whose call would 
have sufficed to raise their whole population, to join 
him. But Kosciuszko, suspecting that the military 
despot would prove not less treacherous than here- 
ditary ones, gave a decided refusal. The more 
sanguine amongst the patriots were less sceptical, 
and the event, in this instance, seemed to justify their 
faith, for the battle of Jena (1806) enabled them to 
re-enter their country after ten years of voluntary 
exile. Their welcome, and the eagerness with which 
all classes took arms, forced from a French grenadier 
the exclamation so strongly characterising the effects 
of a foreign rule in Poland : — " Great God ! Is it 
'^ for this wretched country that the Poles sacrifice 
" so many lives ?" Kosciuszko's suspicions proved 
true. It had never been Napoleon's design to restore 
Poland. In a bulletin, bearing date the 1st of De- 
cember, 1806, were these remarkable expressions : — 

" Shall the throne of Poland be re-established, 
" and shall that great nation, springing from the 
" tomb, resume its life and independence? God 
" only, in whose hands is the issue of all events, 
" can decide this political problem ; but, truly, 
" there has never been one more important and 
" interesting." 

This phrase, " political problem," was a blunder, 
which did not pass unobserved by Russia, then in 
great anxiety at the conqueror's approach. Intent on 



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INTRODUCTION. 11 

Austria, upon the ultimate destiny of the duchy. 
He endeavoured, by every kind of intrigue, to force 
the Congress into acquiescence with his ambitious 
views. With this object he sent Constantine from 
Vienna to Warsaw, where, on the 11th of December, 

1814, he issued a stirring patriotic proclamation, 
calling on them to arm for the defence of their father- 
land ; and admonishing them, " that only by un- 
" bounded confidence in Alexander could they attain 
" that happy state which others would promise, but 
" which he alone could confer." The Congress, how- 
ever, was not to be persuaded that the Poles would, 
from attachment to Alexander, decline freedom, 
power, and independence ; and the rapacity of Russia 
caused such indignation, that on the 15th of February, 

1815, a treaty, offensive and defensive, was secretly 
concluded between England, France, and Austria. 
A European war could alone have cut this Gordian 
knot, when the sudden landing of Napoleon from 
Elba, in March, changed the aspect of affairs, most 
fatally for Poland. The allies, who now regarded 
the smallest diminution of strength as ruinous to 
the common cause, and did not expect the new 
struggle to terminate without the aid of Russia, con- 
sented to propitiate Alexandgi:. by d^ Poland. 
A sixth partition, therefore, took place, thouglTunder 
auspices more favourable to her regeneration at no 
very distant epoch. To Alexander were assigned 
three-fourths of the duchy of Warsaw (46,200 square 
miles), nicknamed the kingdom of Poland ; to 



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12 INTRODUCTION. 

Prussia, the Grand Duehy of Posen, with Thorn, 
Elbing, and Dantzic ; and Austria retained Galicia, 
with the entire salt mines of Wieliczka. The city 
of Cracow, the ancient capital of Poland, with a 
territory annexed to it of 500 square miles, was 
declared free, independent, and strictly neutral. 

The stipulations for the Poles were, that the 
kingdom to which the full enjoyment of the consti- 
tution was guaranteed, should be united to the Rus- 
sian empire, the Czar being allowed to take the title 
of king only on this condition, but with liberty to 
confer on that state, possessing a distinct administra- 
tion of its own, such extension of territory as he 
might judge expedient; in other words, to incorpo- 
rate with it the other Polish provinces under his 
rule— that the Polish subjects of the other contract- 
ing powers should also be respectively governed by 
liberal and national institutions, — that they should 
have representative governments, and, finally, that 
trade, and the navigation of all rivers and canals 
throughout the whole of the country, as it existed 
previous to 1772, should be thrown open to all 
Poles equally, of whatever government they might 
be the subjects. 

Every expression of the several plenipotentiaries 
clearly shows that they did not themselves believe 
in any permanent realization of a scheme so truly 
Utopian, as that the Poles could exist as a 
nation, and enjoy all the privileges of nation- 
ality, except independence, under sevei-al govern- 



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INTRODUCTION. 13 

ments, each following its respective line of policy, 
" Without retracting his former representations,'' said 
Lord Castlereagh, *' he should urge on the partitioning 
" powers to- pursue a coiMuct which might do them 
" honour in the eyes of their Polish subjects, and 
'* guarantee their happiness ; for the thwarting of 
'* their nationality would only occasion revolts, and 
" awaken the remembrance of past misfortunes. 
'' By that conduct, too, the fear may be removed 
" that any danger to the liberty of Europe should 
'^ result from the union of Poland with the Russian 
" empire, already so powerful — a danger, which 
" would not be imaginary, if the military force of 
" the two countries should ever be united under the 
" command of an ambitious and warlike monarch'' 

Prince Metternich's protest was yet more remark- 
able : — *' The conduct of the Emperor of Austria 
" can have left no doubt in the mind of the allied 
" powers, that the re-establishment of Poland as 
" an independent state would have fully accom- 
" plished the wishes of his Imperial Majesty ; and 
'' that he would have been mlling to make the greatest 
" sacrifices to promote the restoration of that ancient 

" and beneficial arrangement Austria has never 

" considered free and independent Poland as an 
^' inimical or rival power, and the principles upon 
" which his illustrious predecessor acted were aban- 
" doned only under the pressure of circumstances, 
" which the sovereigns of Austria had it not in 
" their power to controul." 



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; 

14 INTRODUCTION. 

The moral view taken by Prince Talleyrand, was 
of a higher order, when, with all the authority of 
genius, he observed, " that the partition of Poland 
'^ was the prelude, the* cause, and perhaps an 
" apology for the commotions to which Europe 
** had been exposed ; and, in order to prevent them 
*^ for the future, it was necessary to restore to com- 
** plete independence the Polish nation, so worthy 
" of regard by its antiquity, its valour, its misfor- 
" tunes, and the services it has rendered to the 
^* world." In short, the language of Europe seemed 
to be, " so long as you continue to be Poles, I am 
*^ secure ;" and thus sanctioned the object of the 
insurrection of 1830, fifteen years before its occur- 
rence. Alexander praised the generosity of the Con- 
gress, and expressed the satisfaction he felt in fully 
concurring with the liberal sentiments expressed by 
Lord Castlereagh. The decision of the Congress 
gave much uneasiness to Kosciuszko, who, however, 
still fancying he perceived some hope for Poland in 
the article of the treaty empowering Alexander to 
give an internal extension to the kingdom, which 
of course implied ' the reunion of Lithuania, Vol- 
hynia, Podolia, and Ukraina> requested the Czar 
to give him some further information on that head. 
But Alexander had gained his point, and no longer 
deemed him worthy of an answer. With a bleeding 
heart Kosciuszko then addressed a letter to Prince 
Adam Czartoryski (June 1815), in which, amongst 
other things, he thus wrote : — " I will not act without 



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INTRODUCTION. 15 

" some guarantee on behalf of my country, nor 
" will I be deluded by false hopes. I hardly know 
" what warrant I have but my own ardent desires, 
" for the expectation that he (Alexander) will fulfil 
" his promise to me, and to so many of my coun- 
" trymen, by extending the frontiers of Poland to 
" the Dwina and the Dnieper; such an arrange- 
*^ ment would establish some sort of proportion, in 
" strength and numbers, between ourselves and the 
" Russians, and so contribute to mutual respect 
" and firm friendship." . . . . " We had the Emperor's 
" sacred word that this union should take place. 
" May Providence be your guide ! For my own 
" part, as I can no longer be of any service to my 
" country, I shall take refuge in Switzerland." 
Kosciuszko's refusal to go to Poland was a reproof 
to the duplicity of Alexander, who retaliated by 
stigmatising the virtuous patriot, as an indolent 
old man. 



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. \V 



M \ CHAPTER 1. 



The Administration of the Constitutional Kingdom 
of Poland. 

The kingdom of Poland as established by Con- 
gress, was a mere appendix to Russia, the European 
powers having prevented it from becoming an inte- 
gral part, of the Russian empire. Alexander had 
now to render it so ; and the Poles eagerly seized 
the opportunity, that seemed to present itself, 
for making that part of their country an engine 
for the re-establishment of the whole. Thus, may 
the history of the ephemeral kingdom be epito- 
mized. The edifice, therefore, constructed hastily 
and without a solid foundation, was doomed to fall, 
and with no little risk to the crafty architects who had 
raised it with that design. The first act of Alex- 
ander's reign was a fraud. By a proclamation of 
the 25th of May, 1815, he announced to the Poles, 
" That the maintenance of the equilibrium of Eu- 
«' rope did not admit of their re-union, and that it 
" was desirable that their country should so exist, 
" as neither to excite the jealousy of their neighbours, 
" nor create war in Europe." These being the 
very reasons adduced at the Congress, why Poland 
should be made independent, and he neglected no 



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THE CONSTITUTION. 17 

opportunity of impressing on the Poles, that the 
guilt of the sixth partition, lay not with him, but 
with Europe. Shortly after the basis of a consti- 
tution for the kingdom was published, with the 
clause that Poland should be united to Russia by 
the., sole, tiei qLJ]^?^ constitutional chartgr. But 
when the constitution itself was promulgated, on 
the 24th of December of the same year, it no 
longer contained that clause, and thus he cannot 
be said to have observed the Vienna treaty even 
for a single day. By this charter the govern- 
ment was made to consist of the King, the two 
Houses of the Diet, the Chamber of Senators, to 
be appointed by the king, and the Chamber of De- 
puties, to be elected by the nobility and commons. 
The Diet was to meet every second year at 
Warsaw, to sit for thirty days, and to deliberate 
only on propositions brought forward by the 
royal command. The king had power to appoint 
a lieutenant, to be assisted by a state or adminis- 
trative council, consisting of ministers and coun- 
cillors, also selected by the monarch. The liberty 
of the press, and the independence of the courts 
of justice, were guaranteed, and the nation also was 
to possess the important prerogative of voting the 
subsidies. This was a far more liberal constitution 
than those granted to their Polish provinces, by 
Austria and Prussia, which powers preserved a 
mere phantom of the Vienna treaty. Yet they were 

c 



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18 THE ADMINISTRATION OF 

perhaps^ more sincere than he, who, pledging him- 
self to grant more, thought only how to take back 
what he had already given. Lithuania, but lately 
flattered with the hope of constitutional liberty, 
becsune the object of persecution, and it was con- 
sequently with much reluctance, that Alexander, 
whilst at Warsaw, would consent to give audience 
to Count Oginski at the head of a Lithuanian 
deputation. /' I have established the kingdom,*' 
he told them^ ** upon a very firm basis, for I have 
^^ forced Europe to guarantee, by treaties, its exis- 
" tence j" the reverse being exactly the case :— " I 
^^ shall do the rest as I have promised-— but con- 
** fidence is necessary," &c. The disappointed Li- 
thuanians quitted Warsaw, resolved henceforth to 
look to their own exertions for the salvation of 
their country. Alexander was not long in discover- 
ing the false position in which his new constitutional 
kingdom placed him, not only with regard to his 
hereditary empire, absolutely governed, and his 
eleven millions of Polish subjects, but also as res- 
pected foreign cabinets, and the whole of liberal 
Europe. Muscovy, that is, the Asiatic aristocracy, 
became jealous on finding, that, even after all the 
misfortunes of the Poles, the possession of certain 
privileges was still ensured to them. ** If," said the 
I Muscovites, ** we, the conquerors, obey an absolute 
\ " autocrat, why should he, at the same time, be the 
constitutional monarch of the Poles?" Foreign 



r 






ij. 



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THE CONSTITUTIONAL KINGDOM. 19 

cabinets, on llie other hand, felt their security to 
depend, in some d^ree, on their confining his 
authority in the kingdom within constitutional 
limits; and on compelling him to respect Polish 
nationality in the other provinces. The opinion 
of the liberal party in Europe, whose applause he 
had courted, also tended to keep him in check; 
for having amiounced himself in Vienna, Paris, 
and London, as the patron of liberal institutions, 
he dared not and could not at once assert himself 
a tyrant in Poland. He chose, therefore, the more 
prudent course of gradually undermining the con- 
stitution, in order, finally, to merge the constitu- 
tionai excrescence in his imperial dominions : a 
course quite congenial to him whom Napoleon had 
characterized as ** ie plus fin des GrecsJ^ 

From that time commenced a series of encroach- 
ments on the charter, which, notwithstanding the 
responsibility of ministers, remained unpunished; 
since it was no difficult task for the absolute 
Czar to absolve his ministers from their shaiie in 
the transgressions of the constitutional sovereign. 
For Europe he had constitutional exhibitions and 
fi^^ches at the op@ung and dosing of the Diet. 
To €6taMi#h Ms despotism as securdy in Warsaw 
as at St. Petersburgh, he left there his brother 
Constantine, thus rendering the government a com- 
bination of constitutional authority with unlimited 
absolutism. The appointment (at the suggestion of 



U' 



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20 THE ADMINISTRATION OF 

the Grand Duke, who hated every man of merit*), 
of a decrepit old general as lieutenant of the king- 
dom, instead of Prince Czartoryski, to whose 
exertions the nation chiefly owed its present im- 
proved condition, afforded sufficient proof, to a 
few clear-sighted individuals, of Alexander's in- 
sincerity. The majority, however, were dazzled; 
the monarch himself seemed so delighted with 
his work, as he termed the constitution, that the 
first meeting of the Diet, in 1818, was passed in 
mutual congratulations. Alexander lauded the li- 
beral institutions to the skies, renewed his promise 
to incorporate the sister countries, and promised 
to limit his autocratism in Russia by a consti- 
j tutionf. The representatives scarcely knew how 
\^ sufficiently to express their grateful reverence j 
but such harmony did not last long; the deputies 
availed themselves of their prerogative to comment 
on the report of the state council, and pointed out, 
with all due respect, that no judicial authorities, 
according to the constitution, had yet been esta- 
blished; that taxes were not equally levied; that 

* The Grand Duke used to say, ^' Ceci wnt des gem comme 
^' U faut^ fen conment ; mats ceuaM 9ont des gefM^-^ecmme U 
" mmfautr 

t The Emperor Francis of Austria, who had refused to give 
his Italian subjects a constitution, on reading the sj^ch of 
Alexander, exclaimed with his usual naivete : ^^ SofaUch Un ich 
" wicA^"— (" So false am not I.") 



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THE CONSTITUTIONAL KINGDOM. 21 

the liberty of the press was not secured j nor na- 
tional schools founded. Their boldness displeased ' 
the emperor, who returned for answer, " That the 
" Diet was not privileged to censure the govem- 
" ment, but only to deliberate on its proposed 
" measures. That, for the future, it was to confine 
" itself to this simple proceeding, and refrain from 
" propagating constitutional theories, only calcu- 
" lated to produce mischief." This new doctrine, 
by which the national representation would be 
transformed into a royal privy council, was fol- 
lowed up by the total abolition of the freedom of 
the press, and by depriving the Diet of its prero- 
gative of voting the budget, which was now left 
entirely to the caprice of the executive. 

Two years and a half had elapsed since its first 
session, when the Diet assembled for the second 
time, in September 1820. The character of the con- 
stitutional kingdom was now accurately designated 
by Alexander, in his speech to the representatives 
from the throne : — " In summoning you to work 
" with me for the consolidation of your national ' 
" institutions, I have followed the impulse of my 
" heart. These institutions being the result of my 
" confidence in you, &c." .... and further, " That 
" the duration of the Polish name depended on the 
" strict observance by the nation of Christian mo- 
" rals;" which was equivalent to saying, " I have 
" given you a constitutional existence, because 
" such was my pleasure> and will annihilate it 



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22 THE ADMINISTRATION OF 

'^ when I shall think fit'' But such was not the 
light in which the origin of the kingdom, and the 
obligations of the constitutional monarch, were 
regarded by the members of the Diet. 

Besides the summary punishment with which the 
nation was visited for the observadans made during 
the first session, the rule of Constantine, g^erally, 
was that of a barbarian. Students and editors of the 
press were persecuted ; the freedom of conversation, 
even, was checked by the introduction of a secret po- 
lice, and the many cruelties committed in consequence 
of its denunciations ; the liberty of individuals was 
daily violated; and the provincial administration 
generally oppressive, and, in some districts, intoler- 
able. The system which Alexander wished to 
establish gradually, contrary, probably, to his 
design, was developed with frightful rapidity ; and 
excited in the Diet a powerful opposition, of which 
Vincent and Bonaventura Niemoiowski, represen- 
tatives of the palatinate of Kalish, were the leaders. 

Anxious to gratify the sovereign, the Diet, during 
its first session had, rather prematurely perhaps, 
voted a criminal code ; but as the law would avail 
little without adequate means of enforcing it, 
ministers now required the Diet to sanction ano- 
ther, for proceedings in criminal cases, framed 
evidently with a view to legalise the caprices of 
the discretional power vested in the Grand Duke 
Constantine. 

The representatives, from the conviction that it 



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THE CONSTlTtJTIONAL KINGDOM. 23 

was better to preserve the statum quo, than to frame 
bad laws^ almost unanimously rejected the ministe- 
rial proposals ; Vincent Niemoiowski, in particular, 
materially contributing to this result, by exclaiming 
— ^^ I know that there is but a step from the > 
^^ Capitol to the Tarpeian rock, but nothing shall j 
" deter me from uttering the truth, — the charter 
*^ is national property ; the king^' (be it remembered 
that that king was the autocrat of all the Rus- 
sias) '^ has no right, either to take it away, or to 
" change it. We have lost the liberty of the press 
" — ^individual liberty is gone — ^the right of pro- 
" I)erty has been violated. Now they would 
" abolish the responsibility of ministers, — what 
" will be left of the constitution? Stat magni 
" n&minis umbra! Let us rather at once resign 
" fallacious guarantees, serving only as snares to - 
" the good faith of the patriots who trusted in 
^^ th^Qi : tit satim Hceat certos habuisse dohres /'' 

The bdidness and self-devotion of the two 
brothers had secured general esteem, and the Czar 
resolved on punishing them, as a warning to all 
who should dare to oppose him. His dissatisfac- 
tion appeared in his speech at the closing of the 
^Diet : — " Following an illusion," said he, " but too 
common in the present age, you have sacrificed 
the hopes which a sagacious confidence would 
*" have realized. You have retarded the work of 
r your country's restoration." He alluded by this 
both to the incorporation of the sister countries 



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24 THE ADMINISTRATION OF 

and to the prolonged existence of the kingdom. 
The addre$s of the deputies was still more dis- 
pleasing to him, and he prohibited the ministers 
from complying with it in any degree, assigning, as 
his reason, " that he alone could explain the con- 
" stitution, for being its author he must best know 
" his own intentions." Being unwilling, however, 
that his quarrel with the Diet should become public, 
he instructed his ministers to make a semi-official 
communication to the electors, of the grounds of 
his dissatisfaction with the representatives. This 
appeal could only expose him to ridicule, as it was, 
in fact, the sovereign calling upon the nation to 
censure its representatives for having opposed his 
encroachments. The ministers addressed the elect- 
ors through the palatinate councils*; some reproved 
the illegal insinuation of the angry monarch, others 
yielded, terror-struck. The councils for the Kalish 
palatinate alone refused to give any answer to this 
unconstitutional proceeding. Not long afterwards, 
the Niemoiowskis were elected members of their 
palatinate council, which so incensed Alexander, 
that he abolished the council, and refused to restore 
it until its representatives should give the sovereign. 



* The duties of the palatinate councils, composed of officers 
nominated by electoral assemblies, were to appoint judges for the 
first hearing, and the first appeals ; to assist in forming the list, 
and selecting the candidates for the offices of administration, and 
to watch over the concerns of their respective palatinates. 



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THE CONSTITUTIONAL KINGDOM. 25 

either in or out of the Diet, a sufficient guarantee 
for their better conduct in future. 

This suspension of the constitution in one part 
of the kingdom did not yet tranquillize Alexander, 
who was so alarmed by the Kalish opposition, that 
he anxiously sought for some pretext for terminating 
the existence of the kingdom, and soon found one 
in the state of its finances. A small annual deficit, 
arising rather from mismanagement than from dis- 
ability in the country to meet its own expenditure, 
called forth a royal rescript to the state council, 
bearing date 2dth May, 1821, and containing these 
words : — " Matters have at length arrived at a point 
" where the question no longer r^rds the aboli- 
^^ tion of this or that office, the continuance or 
" relinquishment of certain public works, but the 
" ascertaining, experimentally, whether the resources 
'^ of the kingdom be competent to the expenses of a 
" separate government, or whether, their inadequacy 
" being proved, a new order of things shall be 
'' established." 

An appeal to the nation by Prince Lubecki, the 
new minister of finance, soon raised by voluntary 
subscriptions the sum necessary to supply the de- 
ficit, and thus postponed the critical moment; but 
what value could any Pole attach to this fragment 
of their country, this mockery of a constitution ? 
The declaration of the Czar was with many pa- 
triots the signal to prepare for insurrection. 

Some writers assume two different periods in the 



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26 THE ADSflHISTHATION O^ 

opimoiii^ of Alexandler, the one of constitutional 
liberalism, the other of unlimited absolutism, and 
suppose that his gaierous views were altered by 
reflecting on the revolutions in Naples and Spain^ 
the student associations in Gennaony, and the symp- 
toms of Kbetal ofunions amongst his own troops^ 
especially among those who had resided in France 
for several years under the command of General 
Woronzoff. His duf^city towards the Poles at 
the commenc^nent of his reign has been abready 
described; and if, from 1815 to 1821, he amused 
himself by acting the liberal Czar, it was only 
because he felt himself ecmipelled to show some 
deference to the potentates, who, at the Congress 
of Vienna, had, in the anxiety they manifested for 
Polish independence, betrayed their apprehensions 
at his growing power. But when the attention of 
Austria was diverted by the revolutions just al- 
luded to, and Prince Mettemich had come to the 
erroneous condusion that Europe hdd more to fear 
from liberalism than from Muscovite ambition, the 
motives vanished which had induced Alexander to 
temporize, and ihe congresses of Troppau and Ley- 
bach, so far from curbing, rather enabled him openly 
to throw off the mask of the constitutional king. 
The ccmstitutional character of the govemmient was 
abolished, and from that time forwards replaced by 
oppression in the fiscal department, the spirit of 
darkness in the public schools, and of ignorant ser- 
vility throughout the whole administrative system. 



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THE COKSTlTtiTIOWAL KINGDOM. 27 

To bnre j^aced one palatmate imder intefdict, — ^to 
tfareatoi to transform tbe kingdom into a Russian 
goyemment, was demied by Alexander insufficient 
to shoff the inhabitants what they were to under- 
stand by tbe constituticH]i, and the oonsequenees 
they might expect frcnn a long^ parUamMtary 
insubordination, as the opposition of the diet was 
stjried at St Petersburgh« Believing that 11^ 
presence of the public encouraged the representa^ 
tives to reject the ministerial bills, he added, on the 
13th of February 182d, an article to the charter, 
abolishing the publicity of debates, *^in order," he 
said, ^^to consolidate his work«" Having taken 
these precautions, he summoned the third diet (the 
laust during his life,) for May 1825. 

Not one had yet assembled under such unfavour* 
able auspices. A criminal prosecution, purposely got 
up against him by the Czarewitch Constantine, had 
deprived Bonaventura Niemoiowski of his seat, 
and his brother Vincent had been compelled to 
sign a document, purporting '^ that he had offended 
" his sovereign, who forbade him ever again to 
" appear in his presence." In signing this, Vin- 
cent Niemoiowski added an express declaration 
that he did not thereby resign his seat in the diet, 
as the king was present only at its opening and 
dose ; but Constantine interpreted it as the renun- 
ciation of his representative mission. Determined 
that no personal danger should deter him from fulfil- 
ling his sacred duty, he proceeded to Warsaw. That 



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28 THE RULE OF THE 

which he had foreseen, but did not fear, occurred. 
He was arrested at the barrier by Constantine and 
the police, and sent under an escort of gens d'armes to 
his estate, where he was detained prisoner till 1830. 

^he freedom of representatives, the last guarantee 
of the constitution, was thus violated in his person ; 

^nd a session opened under such circumstances 
could no longer be an object of interest. The 
terror-stricken diet, deprived of its magnanimous 
members, shut up from the public, and insulted by 
the presence of Russian reporters, consented to all 
that the ministers demanded. But what might be 
the subject of debate, was no longer the important 
point. The late outrage would have justified the 
diet in, at least, keeping withia the limits of the 
parliamentary veto; and the king would have been 
compelled to dissolve the rebellious house, and to 
order a new election, which might have brought the 
people and their foreign masters into absolute 
collision. But the deputies, thinking the time was 
not yet arrived, for such an extreme measure, con- 
sidered it their duty to temporize, and, by sub- 
mission, to protract the existence of constitutional 
Poland. 

The rule of the Grand Duke Constantine. 

Considered with reference to its diets, the kingdom 
was a mere concession made to Europe by the 
crafty Alexander. Its real form is about to be 



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GRAND DUKE CONST ANTINE. 29 

exhibited under the discretional government of the 
Czarewitch Constantine, commander-in-chief of the 
Polish army. 

Some fatality persecuting Poland made Con- 
stantine^ the most extraordinary and original man 
ever known in the annals of the worlds her master. 
The abhorrence, for instance, felt by a son for the 
murderers of his father, is so natural a feeling, that 
it ought to offend no one, still less become the 
scourge of many milions^yet the Poles, and they 
alone, were foredoomed to atone for the filial piety 
of one member of the Muscovite dynasty. La 
Harpe, his preceptor, and others who knew the 
Czarewitch personally, have given him credit for 
kind-heartedness ; and the death of Paul produced 
very different impressions on the two brothers. 
Alexander, intent on reigning, forgot all besides. 
Constantine forgot nothing, and for his father's 
death vowed hatred to all Russians, determined 
some day to take exemplary revenge on them. 
All those whom Paul had persecuted, (and the num- 
ber was considerable, for he had not fallen by 
the hands of a few obscure assassins, but through 
widely spread conspiracy) became after his death 
partisans of his successor. Constantine swore 
eternal hatred against them. Alexander, on the 
contrary, looked to these very men for the security 
of his throne, stained with the blood of his father and 
his grandfather. Yet this contrast of feeling did 
not disturb the harmony between the brothers. No 



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30 THE RULE OF THE 

Czar, Paail himself not excepted, had been so 
savage aiid violent as was Constantine. It is cme 
of the mysteries of Providence, that sueh a man 
should have been destined by birth to possess 
aJMolute power. To have allowed him to remain in 
St Petersburgb, would only have been exposing 
him to his father's fate; to regard him as heir- 
presumptibve would have compronused, not only liie 
enq>ire, but a»tocratism itself. The only alterna- 
tive was to keep him at a distance, and Alexander, 
thecefove detained him ualilliuania, while the dudiy 
of Warsaw existed, and after Napoleon's fall, in the 
kingdom of Pioland^-^-^The love of womasi seems 
no less natural a feeling than filial afifeetion. 
C<Histantine became passionately attached to a 
Polish lady, Joanna Grudzinska, of a nobie but not 
wealthy family. Strange to say, even this cir- 
cumstance served but to extend the Russian yoke, 
and to protract its duration, ov^ her countrymen. 
He renounced his right to the empire to become her 
husband. Alexander eagerly removed every obstacle 
to his divorce from a princess of Saxe Coburg*, 

* This lady was the elder aster of the DucAiess of Kent. 
Their union was rendered unhappy by the pueference of the 
Czarewitch for a Swiss woman, whom even after his second 
mairiage he still retained, till Alexander one day compelled her 
to quit Warsaw at twenty-four hours notice. Constantine, in 
his rage, would have placed her under the protection of the 
constitution. ^^ Je la mets sous la protection de la constitution,** 
lie exclaimed; but Alexander only hinghed at him. 



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GHAND DUKE CONSTANVINE. 31 

and obtained Ihe consent of the Holy synod, 
and the enoqpiess mother. He added, however, 
to the laws respecting the imperial family, the 
important clause, by whu^ acy of its members, 
marrying a person of inferior rajsk, should forfeit 
his prerogatives, and the issue of such marriage be 
incapable of inheriting the CEOwn* The macria|^e 
with Joanna Gxadzinska, thenceforth called pribacess 
Lowicka, waa celebrated on the 27th of May, 1820* 
Niz^teen months afterwards^ Constantine visited 
St. Fetersburgh, where, on the 19th of January, 
1822, he signed the memorable abdication, in which 
he acknowledged himself deficient in the mental 
capacity and strength, requisite for the possessor of 
supreme power*. Hence it would appear to have 
required nearly two years to persuade him to con- 
firm, formally, the declaratiqin which he must have 
given verbally at the epoen of his second marriage. 
He received, as the reward of his abdication, the 
appanage of the kingdom and of all the Russo- 
Polish provinces, except the government of Kiow. 
By this singular transaction, Alexander, in order to 
lighten the sacrifice thus made by €onstantine, 
resigned to a certain extent his personal influence, 
not only on the affairs of the kingdom, but also on 
those of the sister countries ; a striking instance of 

* ^ Ne me croyaat vl respiit, ni la capacity, ni la foroe 
*^ necessaire, si jamaifi g'etais revHn de la haute dignity k 
^^ laquelle je suis appele par ma naissance." 



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32 THE RULE OF THE 

the unfortunate truth, that the fall of nations too 
often depends on the domestic interests of their 
rulers. 

The barbarian who had professed to have neither 
mind, nor capacity, nor strength, to govern the 
Muscovites, and whose neck*, as he himself said at 
Dresden, was not strong enough for being Czar at St. 
Petersburgh, found himself all-sufficient for op- 
pressing fifteen millions of Poles, and probably 
only because he did not tremble for his life amongst 
them. He was, indeed, said to love them ; but it 
was with such love as children feel for the toys 
which they amuse themselves by breaking. Poland, 
sacrificed for the security of Russia, became at 
once his appanage, his prey, and his sport. In 
other countries, despotism may be systematically 
and logically exercised; in Warsaw it was the 
result, partly of system, and partly of Constantine's 
aberration, caprice, and temper. An inhuman 
tyrant, possessed of exalted genius, may revolt, but 
he does not degrade his subjects. He may rouse 
their intellect, and stir up their spirit of revenge ; 
but he does not debase their national character. 
But the endurance of a harlequin, with a field- 

* He frequently visited the court of Saxony, where, being 
asked one day by the Queen dowager why he had abdicated the 
throne of Russia, he paused a little, and then made her the fol- 
lowing extraordinary answer : — " C'est que, voyez-vous, Madame, 
*^ en Russie il faut avoir un cou fort, et moi, je suis un peu 
*' chatouilleux." 



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GRAND DUKE CONSTANTINE. 33 

niarshars staff, dreaming of craft and despotism, 
is a satire on the sense and courage of the sufferers. 
Such was Constantine. This persecutor of students 
and of Jews, this terror of degraded women, with 
whom he often quarrelled, and ordered them to shave 
their heads; — ^this spy, trembling and suspicious, 
listening with a thousand ears to the low whispers, 
to the loud complaints, and to the secret councils of 
the nation; — this executioner of soldiers, whom for 
a button fastened contrary to regulation, a false 
step in march, or an ill-adjusted knapsack, he 
deprived of honour, liberty, or life ;— this architect 
and gaoler of state prisons ; — this distributor 
in person of blows and stripes ; — this doubtful, 
intermediate point in the hierarchy of beings, 
placed on the confines, where the brute race 
ceases, and the human begins, half-man, half- 
monkey, in whom the Asiatic physiognomy, 
Kalmuck features, bristle eyebrows, flattened and 
tumed-up nose, and hoarse and stifled voice 
struggled for mastery with some few traces of the 
European countenance, and a studiously polished 
manner; this type of the savage of Muscovy as 
propagated under the Tatar rule ; this incarnation 
of her spirit, institutions, and history, ruled Poland 
for fifteen years. Perhaps, destiny would not or dared 
not push further this irony of fortune. What the 
hat of authority placed upon a staff was to the 
countrymen of William Tell, such was Constantine*s, 
with its white feather, to the Poles. Fot fifteen 

D 



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^4 THE RU^S OF THE 

years were they doomed to bow to this hat, unless 
warned in time by the iiatjtUng of his carnage wheels 
to escape in all directions. 

Let it not, however^ be supposed that his des- 
potism was without a plan, and a deep one. His 
pleasure,, like Ihat of the fiend, lay in the moral ruin 
of goo4 men; and his business was to convert: 
hQuest pp^triots into ruffians, and to degrade any 
man, distinguished by chivalrous deeds, by inte- 
grity, by talent, by civic merit, into a member of 
his household, — a loiterer in his anti-chamber. His 
modes of effecting this object were various. Some 
were dishonoured by public insults ; others, by a show 
of special favour. Some were imprisoned — others 
marked with ignominy, or exposed to the ordeal of 
public contempt. To shake hands with him being 
h^d infamous in Poland, the Gmnd Duke, aware 
of this, would offer his arm to one suspected 
malcontent; embrace another: as his friend; or by 
^ pat on the shpulder, or a pinch on the cheek (his 
customary caress) devote s^ third to the mistrust of 
his countrym^n> Requently his cunning was suc- 
cessful, £^n4' nothing, remained for the victim but to 
become secretly or openly^ the oppressor of his 
brethre^i or to e.nd his life in some: subterran^n 
dungeon. Thus^, on. the square of Saxony, where 
Con^tant^ne was. in the daiJy habit of mustering, 
the, troops for hours, did i^any a warrior, honoured 
i^. the campaigns of Koseiuazko and NapoleoA, 
survive his well earned reputation! 



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GRAND DUKE 60N«TANTINE. 35 

One peh^t of his satairfc scheme, Vi^as to' imriiiirse 
the nation in igiibranb^. Ther^ was a period, 
truly aH appalli% oAe, when he prohibited^ 
writing — and lio one wr6te : when he foitad 
thought — and no oiie presiimfed tt) think. Tor- 
rents of natioilal blood mijght hardly waish away 
such ignominy. 

Novosilzbff, th^ intimate friend' of Constantine, 
suggested the introduction of this system of igno- 
rance into the national scihoote. Thi^' Russian 
senator had' been appointed iihperilsil commissary, 
under the jil^etext of facilitating the intercourse 
between^ the constiVutioiiai idngdom and the empire ; 
but having once obtained a s^t in die state council, 
and a voiice in its consultations; he acquired much 
general influence. Beside his official charge, ru- 
mour attributes' to him a secret mission from the 
Russiian party, which had sworn the extermination 
of the very natnS of Poland, and which cerfaliiily no 
one was better qualified to accdmplii^h; It waiSf his 
cu^tbnlj on all* occasions, to say in the council^— 
Ijiibefcki alone daring to oppose him-i— " that the 
^* Poles were born Jacobins — that revolutio7i flowed 
^'' in theitveinSf and' was iinUbiidf with theW mother's 
" vnilUf stigmatizing; by these phra^sfe, their innate 
patriotisEh, atid hatreddf'Muscotite' rule. Drunken 
in Ms ' habits} openly atheistical^ by cotivicrtion; a- 
rogue, like! efvery oth^f'Russiant 'proconsul, and rei- 
nterkable for disAbhite'riforals*^ Mefivafi^ rievterthfelesfe, 
constituted' gtiirdiair' of i\ie PoKsh ytJuthV and' 
th*' at)dstlef* of bigtitry: By Ms' aHvice^the higher 



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36 THE RULE OF THE 

clergy were rendered rich and oppressive; the 
inferior orders were reduced to poverty and indolence; 
a^d instruction, moral and religious, was withheld 
from the people. Official spies, styled inspectors, 
were introduced to the lectures in the universities 
and high schools, to note the opinions of the 
teachers and students ; and able professors were, in 
consequence, removed, to make way for the tools 
of government. Amongst the students, abilities, 
application, and good conduct, .did but mark them 
for ruin and persecution; and, horresco referens, 
licensed dissipation was even held out to them as 
a reward. If the youths passed unharmed through 
these infernal snares, they owed it to their jaco- 
binism ; that is to say, to their innate hatred of 
Muscovite dominion. 

Conscious of his guilt, but defying public 
opinion, Constantine established the most perfect 
system of secret police that ever existed, for de- 
nouncing not only every spoken word, but even 
unuttered thoughts and feelings. The Belvedere 
Palace, fitted for his residence at the expense of 
the citizens, was the head quarters of this police, 
from whence it extended throughout, and even 
beyond, the kingdom. It was divided into two 
branches, exterior and interior. The first of these 
consisted again of two departments ; one of which, 
directed by the Polish general Rozniecki, took 
cognizance of the countries immediately adjacent to 
the kingdom ; and the reports forwardedto Warsaw 
by his agents in Prussia, contained details as accu- 



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GRAND DUKE CONSTANTINE. 37 

Tate, of the military stations, fortresses, garrisons, 
&c., and other resources of each of its provinces, as 
if that country had belonged to Russia. Amongst 
the papers afterwards found in the Belvedere, was 
the plan for an invasion of Galicia and Hungary, 
The other department, under the control of Colonel 
Fenshawe, an Englishman by birth, extended to 
tjrermany, Italy, France, and England. The reports 
transmitted from those countries, contained curious 
illustrations of their respective governments, their 
public characters, the hopes and wishes of their 
subjects, and, in many instances, of their military 
force and resources. Let not this warning be disre- 
garded at the present moment, when Russian writers 
and Russian spies, both male and female, are carrying 
on their intrigues in all the capitals of Europe. 

The police of the interior was under the special 
direction of Constantine himself, aided by the 
municipality of Warsaw and the post-office. To 
penetrate the privacy of domestic life, all families 
were compelled to hire their servants at an office 
established for the purpose at the municipality. In 
this seminary of spies, even old and faithful ser- 
vants were bribed or terrified into betraying their 
employers, and thus all social confidence and com- 
fort were destroyed. Conversation was carried on 
in foreign languages, to diminish the risk of denun- 
ciation by menials ; and to avoid suspicion when an 
entertainment was given, it became customary to 



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38 THE RULE OF THE 

invite a comnussioi;i;er of the police |to jpin the party. 
Not qnly were public ^3emblie?, public wallas, the 
theatres, and private conversations, wdJtched by pp- 
lice agents, but the very looks and gestures of ini^ir 
viduals, Pemeterfes, the tombs of patriots, state 
prisons, became so fliany tests for loyalty ; an,d the 
mournful look, or upbidden tear of the passers by, 
was construed into high treason, and punished accord- 
ingly. Every honest man was marked ; the esteem 
pf his fellow citizens being an influence d^gerous 
to government. Some, for speaking ii? public were 
denounced as agitators ; pthers, for remaining silent^ 
as secret plotters of mischief. In thoiis^p^ls qf iij- 
stances, the only alternative was to serve thp tyrant's 
hateful epds, or to trust only in Providence. Tp 
such a degree did Constantine carry persecution, 
that even birds, taught tp sing the patipnal ^lelo- 
dies, were t^,]cen from their owners and Jdlled. 

Individuals often disappeare4:^ no one }iXiew how ; 
and the whispered lamentations of a mother or a wife 
alone bore witness tp her loss. Many such victims 
lingered for years in prison, without being told the 
cause of th^ir captiyity j and, if at length set free, it 
was usually under an extprted oath, neiyer to divulge 
the secrets of the dungeon. The cries of persons 
under torture were heard by night in ^\ie Belvedere j 
sfnd it was rumoured that Constantine himself was 
the torturer ; a statement ^jonfirmed by the death- 
bed confession of the late Warsaw executioner, as to 



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GRAND DUKE CONSTANTINE, Sft 

thift noctufDlii executions '^hich he htfd been eom- 
pelled to inflict. The food usually administeried to 
the prisoners, was salted herrings, withoilt drink <tf 
any kind ; but even this exquisite toi-ment ^Vas, in 
One instance at least, surpassed. A Pole, narited 
Adain Cichowski, disappeared from his hotfie under 
circumstances of more than usual mystery, and waS 
supposed to have been drowned in the Vistula, on 
the bankls of which his clothes hAd been found. 
Seven years afterwai*ds, on the outbtieafc of the insiiir-'' 
rection of 1880, he was discovered in prison. He 
related subsequently, that two Cossadks had been 
employed to stare alternately ^t him, without intsef- 
mission, until the diabolical invention sickened hini 
to madness. For months aftei: his ietlirn to hiJl 
family, he was Unable to recognise eithet Wife of 
children, making no other reply to their questions, 
than, " Let me be at peace ! I know nothing !" 

No distinction of classes was observed, nor anv 
difference fnade, betSVeeh foreigners and nativeis; 
Constantine acknowledged only that of niaster and 
slaves. On arriving at Warsaw, foreigners were 
forced either to enter the army, as was the case with 
several Germans, and even some Russians, or wfefe 
immediately sent away. By some papers, sinte 
found in the Belvedere, it was ascertained that several 
foreigners were condemned to be branded with marks 
of infamy : whether the punishment was really in- 
flicted remains unknown. Constantine persecuted 
even abroad those who had opportunities of^ acq[nir- 



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40 THE RULE OF THE 

ing information in Poland. A German*, who had 
served in the Russian army at Warsaw, and after- 
wards wrote on Russia, disappeared from Dresden^ 
leaving no trace behind ; a circumstance the more 
remarkable, as the Saxons boasted that their police 
was so vigilant, that not even a nightcap could be 
stolen without detection. 

The following anecdote may be useful to editors 
of public journals. The French Constitutionnel re- 
ported, that on the day of the coronation of Nicholas, 
Constantine had mingled with the populace of War- 
saw like a policeman. Greatly incensed, he des- 
patched Fenshawe, his chamberlain, to bring the 
bold editor to Warsaw ; but, on reaching Berlin, 
Fenshawe found the object of his mission stated in 
the Constitutionnel itself, and he consequently returned 
disappointed of his victim. But volumes would 
scarcely suffice to relate all the singularities of this 
remarkable tyrant. He had, besides, in the Bel- 
vedere, a cabinet noir, or perlustration office, as it 
was called, for the examination of all letters, both 
native and foreign, and copies of the more important 
amongst them were usually deposited in the palace. 
Not even the correspondence of ministers with the 
court of St. Petersburgh, nor that of the Prussian 
and Austrian consuls at Warsaw, was exempted from 



* lieutenant Martens of Hanover, who published a work 
under the fictitious name, ^^ Bussland in der neustenZeit von E. 
Pjibel"— 1829. 



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GRAND DUKE CONSTANTINE, 41 

this investigation, who thus felt compelled to send, 
not only their despatches, but their private letters, 
by express. The only exception was in favour o^ 
Princess Lowicka's letters, as Constantine read them 
beforehand, Colonel Sass,, who was assassinated in 
the insurrection, had, during his residence of several 
years in England, invented means of opening letters 
and resealing them, without leaving any trace of the 
operation. More remarkable than all, the imperial 
family themselves were surrounded by the same halo 
of treachery. That very Colonel Sass was the Czar's 
spy over his brother ; who, in his turn, had agents 
to report to him every word uttered within the court 
of St, Petersburgh. A curious account was/ound at 
the Belvedere, of a visit made by Nicholas to Berlin, 
detailing the most trifling actions of the then Czare- 
witch and his consort. The extent of this canker 
may be inferred from the following abominable oath, 
usually taken by the spies, and which was adapted 
both to the Roman Catholic and Greek creeds : — ^^ I 
" swear by God Altoighty , Unity in Holy Trinity, by 
♦* the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, by all the 
" Saints, and by my patron Saint in particular, that 
" I will most zealously exert myself in fulfilling the 
" duty I am entrusted with by the Government, and 
" most faithfully attend to all the articles of in- 
** struction" (here the instructions are read to them) 
" which have been communicated to me ; and that 
" I will not divulge anything connected with the 



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42 THE RULE OF THE 

** office I have undertaken, to any person wbonaso>- 
^^ ever ; neither to my rela4ive8, nor to the members 
'^ of the other departments of the police, nor to any 
^^ <tf thek chiefs. I solemnly promise to exercise 
^^ my office without any distinction of parsons, not 
" excepting my nearest relatives." The oath ended, 
** So hdp me God, Unity in Holy Trinity, and all 
« the Saints, to fulfil faithfully this oath * " 

The olyect thus impiously veiled under a pre- 
tended solicitude for the public welfare, was merely 
to establish an unparalleled despotism upon uni« 
versal mistrust. Divide et impera. Vile agents, 
preying upon the na^tion, were loaded with honour- 
able decorations, and even Christian orders were 
bestowed on Jews. Speaking of the return to 
office of these wretches, the Prussian State Gazette 
(February 1, 1832) thus expressed itself: — " We 
*^ need but mention the names of the functionaries 
'^ whom the Emperor Nicholas has in his magna- 
** nimity appointed, whose personal characters were 
" the pledge of their future conduct,"* &c. Yet, 
after these words of bitter irony, the editor still re^ 
fiained from publishing their names. He had, also, 
asserted tiiat the seizure of Polish children and young 
females commanded by Nicholas, was the result of 
the purest benevolence (die reinste Menschenliebe). 
One crime leads to another, and the ministerial 

* Bussiches Schreckens und Yerfolgungs-STstem, dargesteUt 
aus officiellen Quellen Yon Michael Hube PolnisGhen Staats- 
Befeiendare. — Paris, 1832. 



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GRAND PUKjB CON3TANTINE. 43 

journal of Berli», by tha* apology, pvobaUy Jiought 
to excuse tjbKe jjitrodiaietioii of tbe 9&me nystem mto 
Prussia and the G^maA Stetes^ 

The decision of Constantine, the daily violator of 
the Charter, the absolute ruler of the kingdom, aod 
the presumptive heir of the imperial throne, to 
accept the misMsiof} of national repre»entstive at the 
Diet, in preference to the senatorial dignity to which 
his lunk entitled him^ is another striking tmit in the 
chariacter of this lingular man. The inhabitants of 
Praga, hoping to be indemnified for the ealamitieB of 
war which had pressed upon them erer since the 
time of Suwaroff, elected him their deputy, with the 
vievf of furthering their claims at the Diet; and he 
accepted the charge, having previously consulted 
Alexander, who reaped therefrom fresh harvests of 
panegyrics frpm the liberals of Europe- Constan- 
tipe spoke only once in the Diet, and in the French 
language, on the occasion of his presenting a petition 
from his constituents, which, of course, was sucoeas^ 
ful. His presepae there was rather a subject of 
curiosity than of any other feeling. The populace, 
who filled the avenues of the palace, usually fled, 
horrorrstrucH, at his approach, and returned, with 
bursts of laughter, ^rfter he had retired. His favourite 
QccupaUon yvBS to marshal the sentinds round the 
Dietrhall; and so anxious was he not to forfeit his 
pretensions to infallibility, by mistaking his seat, 
that, regardless of the most important discussion, he 



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44 THE RULE OF 

would, before he sat down, count on his fingers all 
the members who had preceded and followed him. 
f It is not alone by political, moral, and intellectual 
/ slavery, that a nation may be undone j by the ab- 
/ straction of private and public property it may be 
I also reduced to the servitude of pauperism. The 
Czars, having made such rapid progress in transform- 
ing the kingdom into an integral province of their 
empire, now prepared to consummate their designs 
on its financial and economical relations. At the 
head of this department was Prince Xavier Lubecki, 
a Lithuanian nobleman, and the personal enemy of 
NovosilzofF. He had originally entered the Russian 
army, but, disgusted with military service, he quitted 
it for the civil, and was made governor of Vilno, and 
after the retreat of the French, in 1813, a member of 
the provisional government of the Grand Duchy of 
Warsaw. On the installation of the kingdom, he 
was sent to Vienna and Berlin, for the purpose of 
liquidating the claims of the Polish subjects of those 
respective governments ; and, consequently, not only 
were individuals defrauded of their claims, but, in com- 
pliance with the injunction of the Russian chancellor 
(Nesselrode),he applied the capital which should have 
enriched the Polish treasury, to indemnify Prussia 
for her services to Russia during the late war with 
Napoleon. On entering upon his office, therefore, 
in 1821, he had the advantage over the other minis- 
ters, of having zealously served Russia, and only 



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PRINCE LUBECKI. 45 

Russia. Notwithstanding much disorder in the 
financial department, it was not bankrupt, as Alex- 
ander had asserted ; and Lubecki, after considering 
with his usual coolness and discernment the exigen- 
cies of the country, and its resources, exclaimed, 
with much self-complacency, " The machine shall 
" work !" Under his direction affairs soon assumed 
a different aspect. Active, eloquent, with the experi- 
ence resulting from the study of men rather than of 
books — a true Russian minister — so impenetrable in 
his caution, that he used to say of himself,, in his 
eccentric manner, " he would burn his shirt, if it 
" knew the secrets of his mind," he rapidly sup- 
planted No vosilzoff in the imperial favour, and, mo- 
nopolizing the influence of his colleagues, ruled 
Poland like a Turkish pacha. Perfecting the cen- 
tralization of power, and the official hierarchy, he 
widened the interval between the government and 
the people, till the former became, for the first time, 
everything, and the latter nothing. By his instrumen- 
tality, the mania for office, and the supremacy of 
mercenary service over civic merit, took deep root 
in the once generous soil of Poland. 

At the very outset of his administration, Lubecki 
had recourse to unusual measures, inventing new 
taxes and reviving many that had been discontinued 
and forgotten for ten years, in order to make up the 
deficit which threatened the political existence of the 
kingdom. Little as that existence was really worth, 
the Poles would have yielded all, to disprove the 



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THE ECLC air 



assertion that their own resources were inadequate 
to its necessities;. Had Lubecki, after supplying this 
deficit, endeavoured to estkblish a just balance be- 
tween the revenue and^ the expenditure, he would 
have been' entitled to the nation's thanks ; but &r 
from so doing, he persevered in endeavouring to in- 
crease the former by violent measures, introducing 
monopolies of every artide of food and drink, which 
he farmed out to a Russian Jew ; and, finally, esta- 
blished a' fiscal tyranny, so intolemble, that even 
Gonstantine, who had an appanage on the principa- 
lity of Lovic2i, remonstrated. The wary minister, 
however, silenced his protest, by bribing him with 
funds for the maintenance of the police, and fbr the 
erection of more state prisons. 

His system of finance was to supply neady money,* 
without regard: to' the justice or injustice of the 
means employed. The brewem of Warsaw were 
entitied, by a privilege formerly conferrfed on them 
by their monaitchs; andisince not only respected^both 
by the Austrian and Prussian governmetits, but 
guaranteed by the law, to make and seH both beer 
and brandy. Under ttie pretext tiiat this was of 
juris regali»i*9B in Bjmmir he deprived tfaem^ of their 
right, and rendered 'itid^govemmentmonopoly. The 
farewerSy secure iht tUe- lawfulness^ of their: claim, 
brougbtanactito againsttbe minister^ which eiided 
in' the? lawyers, who had dared to defend their caite, 
beiD^ striiek off: the lists^ add in tfacf condemnation 
of 'o(ne citizen to sweep th«e^square of Saxony, chained 



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PRINCE LUBEmtU 47 

to a Avheelbansow. Sj^rits were iir consequence 
smuggled into« Warsaw, and many street mainieiKs 
Gommitted in the contests betwrcen liie contraband! 
and fiscal, agents* For tha trial of. the illegal dealers, 
Lubeekit». on> his own authority, established a eouart, 
and the finas^ imposed being absurdly heavy,, many 
aged persons, who were unable to pay,, were con- 
demned to fifty or sixty years imprisonment, and- 
much<mi3ery and disgrace entailed on> fiamilies pre- 
viously prosperous. 

He was indefatigable in devising modes of ruin. 
There were many estates charged with pious legacies, 
the occupants paying an annual sum' towards the 
support of public institutions.. These sacred funds 
he seized for the benefit of the treasury^- With a^ 
view to Ibe preservation of certain national domains, 
which from, the custom of short leasee had become 
dilapidated, as also to increase the comfort of the 
peasantry, who suffered greatly by the frequent 
change of landlords,. the Diet proposed to make the 
tenure of these estates perpetual; butLubecki^ whose 
object, was- to. bring them to auction, ^ opposed tha 
prqject, a,ad> a» usual, being backed by the Czm, 
with success. A plausible excuse for these scdes, 
however^ being, still wanted^ he bethought himself of 
ei!cumbering the lands with debt For this^ pur- 
pose he established a Company ofi Land^ Credit, 
having a capital of public landed propi^y, andtHto^ 
opened a government bank, which, by lending^ lasrge^ 



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48 THE RULE OF 

sums in paper at a low interest, in a few years 
entailed a load of obligations on private and public 
lands. He then professed to see no alternative but 
that of selling those which belonged to the nation, 
and thus inflicted a deadly blow on its property. 

Banks, and other analogous institutions, may be 
beneficial to the agricultural, manufacturing, and 
commercial interests of independent states, but are 
fraught with danger to a country under a foreign 
yoke. An independent people may put all their 
property into circulation without peril, but a nation 
which has to recover its political existence by force- 
of arms, should give all possible stability to every 
kind of property until the moment for insurrection 
arrives. In this lies its hope of success ; and the 
future independence of Poland was not risked so 
long as Russia could not, if she would, take anything 
from it. This was the case until Lubecki, by 
his land credit operations, crippling with debt, and 
then selling the national domains, and involving 
both public and private property, finally placed all 
that the Poles possessed at the Czar's discretion, by 
an affiliation of the Warsaw bank \^ith that of St. 
Petersburgh. 

He did not yet expend all, but commenced by 
lending forty-two millions of florins to Russia, 
lodging forty more in the bank of St. Petersburgh, 
and six in that of Berlin, besides lavishing immense 
sums on objects of extravagant luxury ; thus finally 



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PRINCE LUBECKI. 49 

maturing the financial part of his plan for trans- 
forming the kingdom into an integral province of 
Russia. 

By the public at large finance is as little compre- 
hended as metaphysics ; and although Lubecki had 
dissipated the foreign capital of Poland, and impo- 
verished the country internally, he yet had admirers, 
and sincere ones, amongst the Poles themselves. 
" What a pattern minister," exclaimed the officers, 
who were growing rich under his patronage : " he 
*' is all powerful at St. Petersburgh," said others : 
and teuly the Czars were so well satisfied with him, 
that they would gladly have had as able a financier 
in Russia, to empower them the better to prosecute 
their aggressive wars. " What an incomparable 
" head has this minister," again thought others, and 
believed that he was deceiving Russia in favour of 
the kingdom, forgetting that the anti-constitutional 
measures by which for a time he protracted its exist- 
ence, were ruinous to it, and beneficial to Russia 
alone. The few, who perceived the true state of 
affairs, were deterred from explanation by the fate of 
the Warsaw brewers. One intrepid censurer of the 
system, however, arose in the state council, in the 
person of Novosilzoff. He denounced the Land 
Credit Company and the bank as illegal, having been 
established without the sanction of the Diet, and 
predicted fatal results from the sale of the national 
property. But this opposition only furthered 
Lubecki's plans, and increased his popularity, for 

£ 



^ 



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190 THE RULE OF 

no one could believe that any measure disapproved 
by Novosilzoff, could be injurious to the country ; 
for they were not aware that he opposed the sale 
of the domidns, only because he hoped to reap a 
harvest from them in case they should remain in 
their actual condition. Still Lubecki was by Russia 
and Prussia styled the author of material prosperity 
to the Poles> whom they reproached with ingrati- 
tude. This material prosperity, had such existed, 
which it did not, would have been a legacy of 
national slavery, and it should be observed that no 
merely physical well being will ever make the Poles 
forget that they were once a powerful and inde- 
pendent people. The reproach of ingratitude too, 
was at least illogical, in attributing to the Russians 
any good which the Poles might themselves have 
effected; since the institutions of the kingdom 
were Polish, and not Russian, and according to the 
constitution it governed itself. The king could only 
be the agent of the people's will. But the boasted 
prosperity was a glittering illusion, which vanished 
into nothing on a nearer view. 

More effectually to sever the constitutional king- 
dom from the provinces and the rest of Europe, 
three lines of Cossacks were stationed along the 
frontier. The importation of Prussian goods being 
thus interrupted, Prussia augmented the duty on 
Polish grain sent to Dantzic ; and Alexander, avail- 
ing himself of this as a pretext for breaking off all 
commercial intercourse between the nations, com- 



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V 



PRINCE LUBECKI. 61 

manded a canal to be cut (which cost the nation 
several millions yearly), uniting the Vistula and 
Niemen, in order to convey the grain by water to 
Riga. Had this extravagant project been carried 
into effect, it would only have facilitated the tran* 
sport of Russian armaments against Poland and the 
rest of Europe, for every enterprise undertaken by the 
Czars in Poland, is always with this twofold object 
The kingdom thus isolated, the government was 
obliged to establish home manufactories, the mono- 
poly of which fell exclusively into the hands of 
German colonists. Without competition in the 
markets, and aided by large sums advanced by 
government, articles of inferior quality were offered 
at an extravagant price, which the Poles were com- 
pelled to pay ; and hence German artisans, who in 
their own country scarcely earned a subsistence by 
sixteen hours daily labour, with half the toil acquired 
riches in Poland, aiid soon flocked there, to the 
number of 30,000. The inevitable results were, 
that the Poles, instead of purchasing good articles 
at a low rate abroad, were obliged to buy the worst 
and dearest at home, and that the advantage which 
Germany ought to have derived from commercial 
intercourse with a neighbouring country, was trans- 
ferred to the hands of a company of fortune hunters. 
The kingdom was thus deprived of the benefit of 
large capitals, which were invested elsewhere ; and 
although Polish cloth was exported to Muscovy and 
China, it did not enrich the country. The ^tabU$h* 



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V 



62 The rule of 

mekit of manufactures in the kingdom, in its actual 
state, might be compared to constructing the roof 
of a house before its foundations should be laid. 
Only such hands should be there employed in them 
as are not required for agriculture, and even in 
former times, when the native population was more 
numerous, it was inadequate to the full cultivation 
of the soil, and, consequently, is still more so now 
that it has been diminished by so many wars. The 
constitutional kingdom, for instance, could support 
a population three times its actual number, and 
twice as many hands were requisite for its full cul- 
tivation. Nothing, therefore, could exceed the ab- 
surdity of making the Poles emulate manufactures 
already brought to a high degree of perfection in 
other countries, and at the same time neglect the 
agricultural pursuits in which they excelled all others. . 
The sole effect of these manufactories was to ruin 
agriculture, of which Mr. Jacob, who was sent into 
Poland by the English government on an agricul- 
tural mission, has given a melancholy picture. 

The country around Cracow may be compared to 
England; abounding in silver, copper, zinc, iron, 
and extensive coal and salt mines. Poland may still 
be called the granary of Europe. The timber, flax, 
and hemp of Lithuania, are the best and cheapest. 
Podolia and Ukraina abound in the finest cattle, 
and a magnificent breed of chargers. Numerous 
rivers, of the first, second, and third magnitudes, 
afford natural facilities of internal communication ; 



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PRINCE LUBECKI. 63 

and the Baltic and Black Seas enable her to trade 
with foreign countries. These natural communica- 
tions are so interwoven with each other, that no 
province can be severed from ancient Poland with- 
out detriment to the remainder ; and it might have 
been the knowledge of this fact that induced the 
Congress of Vienna to guarantee absolute freedom of 
commerce to all Poles. And now that all the pro- 
vinces are separated by impassable barriers, what can 
be said of the physical well being of the country in 
general, and more particularly of that portion nick- 
named the Constitutional Kingdom, isolated as it is 
from the adjacent countries, and especially from 
Dantzic. Unless Russia should succeed in convert- 
ing this part of Poland wholly into a desert, she 
must either restore it (which she will never do but 
by compulsion), or take possession also of Dantzic 
and thg Polo-Prussian provinces. 

The Russians boast of having embellished War- 
saw. It is certainly true that some public edifices 
have been constructed, under the immediate direction 
of government, though at the expense of the citizens 
exclusively ; but the Asiatic Chinese style of these 
new buildings, is ill-assorted to the classic architec- 
ture of Warsaw. The Russians usually adorn the 
capital of the countries they subjugate, as if in token 
that they never mean to abandon their prey.. 



V 



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CHAPTER II, 

National Conservatism — Secret Societies — National 
Education-'-^Prince Adam CzartorysM. 

TUfi destructive system, so universally pursued 
in the kingdom, by the erection of which the 
Congress of Vienna offended the interests of Russia, 
v^as essential to the conservation of the autocratic 
Bmpire of the Czars. The existence of the consti- 
tutional kingdom in the vicinity of the sifter coun- 
tries, was an obstacle to their incorporation with 
the Russian dominions, and contributed to presecve 
the national character still more distinct, since every 
patriotic scene occurring on the Vistula found sym- 
pathy beyond the Bug, and each word whispered 
in Warsaw was heard at Vilno. The kingdom, form- 
ing an excrescence of the empire, was like a sponge, 
which absorbed everything from Western Europe, 
and then emptied it into the interior of the colossus. 
Poland of the Vistula therefore, the land lacerated 
by the bullets of so many insurrections, and sur- 
rounded by a revolutionary atmosphere, haunted the 
Czars like a spectre, threatening the dissolution of 
their empire. To such thoughts, influencing, though 
they could not justify their conduct, may be added 



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NATIONAL CONSERVATISM. (15 

the jealousy of their native subjects, who regarded 
it as a personal aflfront that the less powerful Poles, ^ 
after all their calamities, should enjoy rights and 
privileges withheld from themselves. Constantine*s 
marriage, too, was another source of evil. Having 
renounced the greatest throne in the world for a 
Polish wife, he thought that he was, in conse- 
quence, entitled to exert absolute rule over fifteen 
millions of her countrymen. This abdication was 
acknowledged by Alexander to be essential to the 
existence of autocratism, and thenceforth the history 
of Russian Poland was only that of a cabal for reform 
in the imperial succession. On the other hand, ha d 
t he constitution been observed, a lih ftml arlmini^tra» 
t ion, a free pr ^,s^(ind miintimidftled PktSL. could 

period thajL^tyranny rf^quijied, to dn it, 4bfi na.tional 
d^ir^ of inHpppi|^fi;^^f^. So reasoned the cabinet 
of St, Petersburg!!. But if, as NovosilzofF said, 
it was dangerous to grant the Poles a moment's 
breathing time In their sufferings, or leave them even 
a shadow of liberty, because they would avail them- 
selves of it to regain their freedom, it was no less 
certain that every injury inflicted, every privilege 
torn away, would but excite them to more deter- 
mined struggles against the stranger's yoke. Thus, 
after the partition of their country, liberty or oppres- 
sion, a mild or tyrannie government must ever 
produce the same result, — a contest for lost but 
stiU merited independence. Such is the unalterable 



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66 NATIONAL CONSERVATISM. 

condition of their existence under foreign rule — if it 
be mild, they rise because they can — if tyrannical, 
because they must. They can never be reconciled 
to subjection, either by moderation or tyranny. 
It is this necessity for incessant oppression on the 
one side, and for constant resistance on the other j 
this fatality, which lies heavy alike on the Poles and 
on their foreign rulers ; which gives that high tragic 
character to all their insurrections, and renders their 
history so interesting and instructive. 

The open rising of an independent people against 
a national government that has become oppressive, 
is termed a revolution. The Poles, no longer inde- 
pendent, were obliged first to conspire in secret, 
until such a number of individuals should be col- 
lected as would suffice to rouse the whole nation 
against their foreign masters. This is called an in- 
surrection. The first secret associations in Poland 
were synchronous with the first intrigues of Russia ; 
and the first insurrection that resulted from them 
was the confederation of Bar, headed by Casimir 
Pulawski. Next came the first partition, after which 
the national Diet voted the celebrated constitution 
of the 3rd of May, 1791 ; but the sudden annihila- 
tion of their political existence prevented them from 
carrying into effect that great measure of reform. 
Hence the third partition was the murder of a living 
nation, nerved and strengthened by exalted ideas, 
which it was on the eve of realizing. Thus the 
territory alone was dismembered ; the individuality 



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NATIONAL CONSERVATISM. 6To 

of the nation remained entire. The two above- 
named events were great efforts, the one armed, the 
other legislative — two great results of national 
thought, when Poland, losing her station amongst 
the European powers, retained her firm resolve to 
regain it at some future time. This legacy of the 
country, at the moment of her political death, is the 
clue to the phenomena of extraordinary activity dis- 
played by the Poles after their fall. Ejected by 
violence from the community of European states, 
Poland developed within herself, a mode of exist- 
ence unknown till then in the history of the world 
— a domestic national vitality ; all the strength by 
which she had once swayed widely in the North, 
was, after the partition, concentrated within the 
circle of family life. This fact may be thus ex- 
plained. Under the Piasts she was ah absolute 
power. Under the Jagellons a free, constitutional, 
and well-ordered monarchy, powerful both at home 
and abroad. She next became a republic, with an 
elective kipg, full of internal though anarchical life; 
but weak in her external relations, and losing thereby 
a part of her importance with other powers, she 
became obnoxious to partition. But that very 
weakness of her government having prevented the 
dissipation of her strength in wars of ambition, she 
still retained sufficient force to rise repeatedly after 
the dismemberment had taken place. In short, the 
accident that Poland was an anarchical republic 
during the two last centuries, that she had not a 
despotic government, but Was a free nation ; in other 



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58 NATIONAL CONSERVATISM. 

words, that she was more of a family than a state^ 
preserved to the subsequent generations a powerful 
force that will resist many centuries of oppression. 
This result does not justify, but it explains, the 
effects of the anarchical republic. Family, home, 
constitute at once the secret of Polish insurrections. 
The family existence, strong on the eve of political 
death, is the sinew of these insurrections. Such 
is the nature of Poland, that she struggles with 
all the energy of her social internal life for poli- 
tical independence, and, in this respect, has greatly 
the advantage over the three powers that dismem- 
bered her. A single defeat (at Jena) destroyed 
the whole work of Frederick the Great, and in 
less than fifteen days Prussia no longer an in- 
dependent power, was indebted solely to the bright 
eyes of her queen for the preservation of her poli- 
tical existence. Such empires as Prussia, Austria, 
and Russia, may be termed unnatural — ^the crea- 
tions of violence, not having the principle of 
stability within themselves. Make, for instance, 
a republic of Russia, and give free constitutions 
to Prussia and Austria, and the various nations 
of which they now consist would separate into so 
many independent states. Which of these powers 
could subsist, as Poland has, for sixty years, with- 
out a central government, without fortresses, armies, 
or funds, and oppressed by the tyranny of a triple 
foreign yoke ? 

The history of Poland, since the partition, may 
be considered under the double aspect of public and 



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SECRET SOCIETIES. 59 

private ; the one, a record of the nation's slavery, 
with her enslavers ; the other, a narrative of national 
efforts to shake off their chains. The former con- 
tains as many chapters as the portions into which 
she was divided ; the latter, is one and the same for 
the whole country. 

Secret societies, the source of all insurrections, 
are its principal featiires ; but secrecy being their 
characteristic, the information respecting them is 
necessarily scanty. By their means the insurrec- 
tion under Kosciuszko was brought about. A few 
Poles, scattered in foreign lands, maintained secret 
intercourse with those in their own, and returning 
suddenly with that patriot at their head, without an 
army, and without funds, they yet declared war 
against Russia and Prussia, and for a year defeated 
the armies of those powerful states. There is 
nothing so great in the world's history, with which 
this insurrection may not vie. Many patriots emi- 
grated at its close, and whilst they wandered beyond 
unknown seas, as says the Archbishop Woronicz, 
maintained the unconquerable will in the hearts of 
those who were in chains at home. The Pole emi- 
grates in the name of his country : his mission is 
not to seek fortune, but to proclaim his country's 
wrongs, and then return to avenge them. A band 
of Polish emigrants is not a faction chased by an 
opposing faction, but the remnant of the nation 
protesting against foreign tyranny. The existence 
of the Poles, since the partition, is, to a certain 



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60 SECRET SOCIETIES. 

extent, easily systematized. They resolve to rise, 
and having failed, they emigrate ; but only to con- 
spire again, again to fight, and emigrate again. Se- 
cret societies, insurrections, exile, are the three for 
ever recurring stanzas of the same melancholy lay. 
Each has its peculiar characteristic ; viz.y secret as-^ 
sociations — sacred, sworn fidelity; insurrections — 
enthusiasm and valour; exile — resignation. Thus 

/the love of fatherland assumes amongst the Poles 

1 something fantastic and religious. 

\ ^Secret societies commenced in 1819, when the 

I first violation of the Constitution took place. They 
\kept pace with the progress of public affairs until 
the insurrection of 1830, which was their result. 
The Poles delight to find something poetical in 
their patriotic enterprises. A tradition transmitted 
from society to society, named Dombrowski, the 
commander of the Polish legions in Italy, as their 
first institutor. Words, said to have been uttered 
by him on his death bed, sank so deeply in some 
patriotic breasts, that they were recorded as a dying 
behest, which the nation subsequently rose to 
execute on the field of battle. If this were but the 
invention of some patriot, it must be acknowledged, 
that a fiction, tracing to the dying words of an old 
warrior, the origin of an armed insurrection, was 
eminently poetic. 

Major Lukasinski, of the fourth of the line, esta- 
blished the first association in the kingdom, applying 
the rules of a masonic society (still permitted in 1819) 



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SECRET SOCIETIES. 61 

to the national free masonry, exclusively suited to 
Poland. It consisted of four orders, or classes* Mem- 
bers of the first class were bound to support military 
men who had suffered in the late campaigns : those 
of the two next were employed in enlightening their 
countrymen, and spreading the spirit of nationality. 
By the fourth class, the national independence, 
resulting from the exertions of the other three, was 
openly discussed. The symbol of ordinary masonry, 
the reconstruction of Solomon's temple, is typical 
of the restoration of the depraved moral nature 
of man. This regenerative christian principle was 
applied by Lukasinski to Poland, as requiring to 
be reconstructed and restored. The other symbols 
were of easy application. The death of the inno- 
cent Hiram represented the partition, and his three 
murderers the three partitioning powers. The 
Poles were the children of Hiram, bound unremit- 
tingly to pursue and combat the usurpers of his 
throne. Finally, the belief in his resuscitation, 
amidst the greatest difficulties, was transferred to 
the hoped-for restoration of Poland. 

This national free masonry spread rapidly in the 
army, the kingdom, and the grand duchy of Posen, 
and existed, thus disguised, until 1821, when an 
order of Alexander, abolishing all associations, 
caused it to disappear nominally, but not in 
fact. From the elements of this national masonry, 
Lukasinski established a great patriotic secret 
society, sub-divided into conunons, respectively 



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62 SECRET SOCIETIES. 

limited to ten members^ and several of these com- 
mons fonned a district; and a certain number of 
districts constituted a province. Seven provinces 
comprehended the whole of ancient Poland ; each 
province having a president, who formed one of 
the central committee, which had its seat in 
Warsaw. This committee, unknown to its su- 
bordinates, superintended the whole fabric. Thus 
the government might cut off a branch, without 
uprooting the tree. It was also empowered to send 
emissaries through the country, and incorporate 
and communicate with new societies. Acting on 
the principle that an unseen power is always mag« 
nified by men's imaginations, in the ratio of its 
mystery, its influence was great. The national free 
masonry, so sagaciously conceived by Lukasinski, 
gave, notwithstanding its short duration, a powerful 
impulse to the country, and, in the space of a few 
months, secret societies were every where established. 
Illustrious names, wealth, talents, all were enlisted 
by a few patriots, anxious to restore their country 
by means of its own resources. Many noble fjBimilies 
in Fodolia and Ukraina, prepared for an armament 
according to their ancient usage. They procured 
arms aj^l buried them in the earth, forged lances, 
and gradually increased the numbers of their ser- 
vants and horses, whilst the oriental luxury of their 
uAual habits enabled them to pursue their prepara- 
tions without exciting suspicion. Even beyond 
the sphere of the great central society, and without 



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NATIONAL EDUCATION. 63 

its knowledge^ others, aniiaated by the same spirit, 
started into existence ; and it often occurred, that 
two distinct societies formed in the capital, met far 
from their original source. The agency of the 
central committee was even better organised than 
Constantine's police; and no sooner traced a newly 
formed society, than they incorporated it with the 
great one. It often happened, that the same in- 
dividuals were members of several, without betraying 
the secret j which may be accounted for partly by 
the reserve of the Poles, and partly to their abhor- 
rence of the foreign dominion. 

Amongst many others, was the society of the 
Templars, established by Captain Maiewski, who, 
during his captivity, had been a member of the 
Templars' lodge in Scotland. Its object was the 
same as that of the national masonry, with this 
difference only ; that women were admitted, in 
order to extend its influence over the whole social 
frame of national life. It soon came into com-^ 
munication with the patriotic society, but still 
preserved its independence. 

A still more powerful engine of national con-*^ 
servatism, was public education ; the two principal 
foci of which, were at Warsaw and Vilno. 
^ Prince Adam Czartoryski was eminently service- 
able in this department. His family (a braach of 
the Jagellon dynasty), are celebrated for their efforts 
to establish a vigorous administration, during the 
reign of Stanislaus Poniatowski ; but were baffled 



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V 



64 PRIWCE ADAM CZARTORYSKl. 

in the attempt, by the blind opposition of the de- 
mocratic nobility, influenced by Russian intrigue. 
They were the chief promoters of the Constitution 
of the 3rd of May, and its champion, Kosciuszko^ 
was educated in a military school established by 
them. Prince Adam served as Major under him, 
and emigrated after his catastrophe. The Empress 
Catherine then threatened to confiscate the immense 
family estates, unless the young Princes, Adam 
and Constantine, were sent as hostages to St. 
Petersburgh. On their arrival there, they were 
treated with particular distinction, and admitted as 
companions of the young Czarewitch Alexander, 
and his brother Constantine. Prince Adam, per- 
ceiving in Alexander some indications of a generous 
disposition, resolved, if possible, to implant upon 
it the kindred sentiments which he himself had 
learnt from Burke and Fox ; trusting that the 
young monarch, if once taught to act on just 
and humane principles towards his own subjects, 
might also be led to acknowledge and redress 
the wrongs of the Poles. His success at first 
surpassed his hopes, Alexander becoming so ena- 
moured of liberal ideas, as at one time to propose 
their escaping together to the United States, there 
to enjoy the benefit of republican citizenship. 

Madame de Stael called Alexander an exception, 
an epithet which has no meaning, as applied to 
him ; Czars being ever more perfect in their sort, 
as they approach nearer the Tatar stock, *heir 



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PRINCE ADAM CZARTORTSKI. 



^5 



;> 



type being, not Marcus Aurelius, but Ivan the cruel. 
For a moment, indeed, Alexander seemed to be of 
a mixed character : but he ended by equalling, 
if not exceeding, the most genuine of former^ 
Czars. The transient tinge of liberalism that! 
marked a portion of his reign, was the result of his ' 
friendship with Prince Czartoryski; and the very 
fact that a Czar, by coming in contact with a Pole^ 
should be adopted a son of civilization, and h€ 
considered an exception, is yet another tribute to 
Polish merit Whilst his countr3anen were shed- 
ding their blood for France, Czartoryski made the 
best of his singular position in behalf of his coun- 
try; and, towards the beginning of 1804, when 
the chancellor Woronzoff resigned the office of 
minister for foreign affidrs^ he consented to be his 
successor, on condition of being permitted to resign, 
whenever Russian policy should become hostile to 
the interests of Poland. At that period, Russia 
was at peace, and in close alliance with France ; a 
circumstance which, owing to the Polish legions 
having also remained there, was erroneously attri- 
buted to the Prince by the Russian aristocracy 
who still remembered with indignation the disgrace 
cast upon them by SuwarofTs unsuccessful cam- 
paign. Their suspicion rather assisted Prince 
Czartoryski^s views, for he was, in fact, desirous 
of an alliance with England, partly from respect 
for her institutions, but still more from the appre- 
hension of mischief to Poland in case of a protracted 

F 



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PRINCE ADAM CZARTORYSKI. 

peace between Russia and France. Hel^en saw 
eAough to convince him, that jUst in proportion as 
the power of Napoleon increaised, did Alexander 
grow liberal to the Poles, whose co-operation 
with France it was his wish at least to neutralize. 
Thus, what some attributed to the generosity of 
Alexander, did, in fact, result from selfish cal*- 
culation; and it is the province of history to explain 
the policy of cabinets by interest, and not by sen- 
timent. At this day, the same effect would follovr 
any pressure from the West ; and were France still 
equally prompt to draw the sword, even Nicholas 
would become generous to the Poles. It was, 
therefore, with secret satisfaction that the Prince, 
ill 1806, signed a treaty of alliance between Russia, 
Great Britain, and Austria, against Napoleon j and 
his hopes were justified by the frieAdly disposition 
soon evinced by the Russian cabinet towards his 
countrymen. Anxious to profit by the indecision 
of the King of Prussia, Alexander urged Prince 
Joseph Poniatowski, then in Warsaw, to insurrec- 
tionize the Polish subjects of the former, and 
proclaim him king of Poland. The proposal was 
listened to, and would have been carried into effect, 
had not the Muscovite party (the opponents of 
Czartoryski) brought Prussia over to the northern 
alliance ; England was at that time so ill disposed 
towards Prussia, that, to enable Alexander to crush 
it, she offered to transfer to him the subsidies pre- 
viously promised to that state. 



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NATIONAL EDUCATION. 67 

In the meantime, Czartoryski, disgusted with the 
turn affairs had taken during the war against Austria, 
in 1805, and still more so with the Russians^ by 
whom Alexander was surrounded, retired from office 
at the commencement of 1806*. On the establish- 
ment of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw he even with- 
drew from, his presence, and refused to enjoy the 
prerogatives of friendship, foreseeing in the next 
collision between France and Russia, and in the 
ascending star of Napoleon, the salvation of Poland. 
Thenceforth he devoted himself to his duties as 
Curator at the University of Vilno, a post to which 
he had been appointed in 1801, when public educa- 
tion in the Polo-Russian provinces had been re- 
duced to the lowest ebb. This university (esta- 
blished in 1583, by Stephen Batory) had been, after 
Kosciuszko's catastrophe absolutely deserted, both 

* On acceptixLg office, Czartoryski stipulated that neither salary, 
decoration, nor any kind of remuneration, should be forced upon 
him. All his subordinates were Poles, and to defray the costs of 
the office, he expended several millions of his own fortune during 
the short period of his ministry. In 1815 he declined accepting 
the Polish order of the White Eagle, sent him by Alexander, 
pleading his former engagement ; but on the latter indignantly 
ordering him to accept it, he interpreted the command as the 
signal of his disgrace at court. Such disinterestedness is so little 
understood in Russia, that Nicholas, as a punishment for the part 
taken by Czartoryski in the late insurrection, issued an ukase 
(1831) declaring Idm unworthy to wear a Russian decoration; 
but on perceiving his bluuder, deprived him, by another the next 
year, of his Polish order. 



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V / 68 NATIONAL EDUCATION. 

by professors and students, and five other schools of 
an inferior description alone remained. This aspect 
of things was quickly changed by Czartoryski, and 
one hundred and twenty-seven provincial colleges 
arose, supported by him and other patriots. At 
Krzemieniec, a college containing eight classes, 
and on apian much resembling that of a university, 
was established by his indefatigable coadjutor^ 
the historian Thaddeus Czacki. The university of 
Vilno was re-oi^ganized by the Prince himself, and a 
new statute drawn up, by which it was declared the 
highest school and the supreme board of public 
education for all Polono-Russian provinces. Placing 
distinguished men in all the chairs, he chose for rec- 
tor John Sniadecki, an author well known for his 
astronomical labours*, who with uncommon ardour 
set about introducing the system of science then 
prevalent in continental Europe. At the beginning 
of the pres^it century, France and Germany were 
the two main sources of scientific knowledge j the 
French presiding over matter, the Germans over 
spirit. Scepticism carried to the extreme, yet leading 
to important results in politics; criticism, the 
material part of human knowledge, distinguished the 
French beyond every other continental nation ; 
speculation, rather than practice, beguiled the Ger- 

* Sniadecki published a biography and a very able commentary 
on the system of his countr3rman Copernicus (Kopemik), which 
was translated into French and English. 



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NATIONAL EDUCATION. 



.V 



mans beyond the regions of reality. It was the 
very essence of French science, to be universally ap- 
plicable to all places and all people ; but Grerman 
philosophy was local, peculiar to the metaphysical 
turn of the natives, vibrating in a state of chaos 
from which they are still unable to emerge. Snia- 
decki did not hesitate long before he decided ; and, 
preferring certainty to uncertainty, adopted the 
French system of natural science and mathematics, 
to the utter neglect of moral science. The students 
might be divided into two classes — ^those who meant 
to follow theology, law, or medicine, with profes- 
sional views, and those who studied for the pure 
love of knowledge, or to provide themselves with 
an agreeable pastime in the capital. Now as scien- 
tific qualifications in Russia corresponded to military 
grades (fourteen in number), and the degrees of 
candidate (lieutenant), master (captain), or doctor 
(major), were conferred exclusively by the faculties 
of natural science, it followed that all students pur- 
sued them with the view of obtaining one of these 
grades, without which in Russia a man is a slave ; 
and that moral science was, in consequence, almost 
wholly abandoned. The result will be important. 

It has been said that, besides its task of instruc- 
tion, the superintendence of the education of twelve 
millions of Poles was committed to the university of 
Vilno, which thus became a ministerial department. 
AU the professors were members of it de facto, and 
had the rank of colonel, the rector being counsellor 



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70 NATIONAL EDUCATION. 

of state (general officer). The large salaries of the 
professors enabling them to live in ostentation ; and 
the circumstance that bishops and prelates formed a 
part of the council, secured its consideration, and 
converted these dispensers of literature and science 
into an aristocracy of learning, on whose province 
neither the civil nor the military authorities were 
permitted to infringe. Such was the university when 
Sniadecki, in 1816, resigned a post in which he 
had done good service to his country, by awakening 
the spirit of research, and diffusing far and wide an 
immense mass of knowledge. By him also and other 
professors the phraseology of natural science was 
brought to great perfection in their native lan- 
guage, which in precision and clearness equals, and 
in purity surpasses, that of France. ' Their own 
writings were models for style, and Vilno became 
a second focus of national literature.— Soon after 
Sniadecki's retirement, a society of persons, terming 
themselves "The Satirists," was foimed in Vilno. 
To criticize and ridicule every abuse in government, 
literature, and manners, was the business of its 
members, and the society thus became a practical ex- 
pression of the spirit of the university. The Satirists 
were charged with being cosmopolites, and not with- 
out reason; for a patriotism like theirs leads as 
directly to indifference for the fatherland, as indiffer- 
ence in religion does to atheism. The students on 
their part also furnished ample subject for ani- 
madversion, the sons of rich families being accus- 



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NATIONAL EDUCATION. 71 

tomed to waste their money in idle pursuits, and 
return home without having learned anything useful, 
since mathematics and physics do not suffice to 
form a citizen. The poorer ^students too, the only 
real seekers of knowledge, still merely ueted it c^s a 
means of livelihood, fitting themselves to be teachers 
in private fan;dlies^ or officers under government. 
This tendency of the enlightened classes inevitably 
resulted from the system introduced by Sniadecki, 
which^ occupying the youths exclusively with mate- 
rial nature, left them no time to investigate what 
lies beyond her limits. The laws, institutions, and 
politics of Europe,even the history of ancient Poland^ 
of her constitution^ diets, &c., goncem^d not the old 
mim entirely absorbed in his observatory, and for- 
getful of. all that was passing around him, even when 
Alexander threw off the . mask of the pretended 
benefactor of nCiankind. It is also worthy of remark, 
that experimental science, calculations by rule and 
compass, systems without imagination, exclusively 
followed, often form the character to epicurism. 

The year 1820, when so many secret societies 
sprung up, was also an epoch in the annals of the 
university of Vilno. Amongst the few penetrating 
mind^ who discerned its anti-national tendency was 
Thomas Zan, the son of poor but noble parents. 
iEJaying attained great proficiency in physical and 
math^niitical science, he still continued to attend the 
lectures, anxious to teach something beyond these to 
the academical youths, with two generations of whom 



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73 > ^ v^ " THOMAS ZAN. 

he had become acquainted, being himself the eldest 
amongst them. On the eve of any important event 
it would seem as if Providence raised up such men 
to be the originators of great social reforms. To 
Zam the university was not a mere resort for the 
promotion of physical science, the boundary beyond 
which nothing remained to be known. The young 
men of Lithuania, Samogitia, Volhynia, Podolia, 
and Ukraina entered their names annually by thou- 
sands as her students. Were they to be nothing 
more ? Might nothing great be formed out of such 
elements? Thus thought' Zan, and thus far did 
he succeed in realizing his thought, that so long as 
Lithuania shall exist, patriotism, courage, and the 
love of Poland will never be extinguished in that 
country. By the amiability of his manner, and the 
cultivation of his intellect, Zan secured the affection 
of the youths, and the confidence which he needed, in 
order to imite them for one great purpose. At the 
close of 1819 he established the Society of the 
Radiants. Seven rays of light was the symbol 
representing its seven classes ; its object being to 
diffuse patriotism and the love of knowledge. Bar* 
tering the intellect of the poor for the possessions 
of the rich, he employed them all in aid of one 
another. If a student found himself perplexed by 
the prospect of an approaching examination, or 
unable to comprehend some lecture, gratuitous as- 
sistance was immediately offered. If another was 
in pecuniary difficulty, relief reached him from sonoe 



i 



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THOMAS ZAN. 73 

unknown hand. Every student seemed to have 
received new life. Each now possessed a small 
library of certain books hitherto unknown, and 
some there were who even transcribed whole volumes ; 
one, for instance, treating of the Constitution of 
May 3. Casting away former frivolities, ihey ex- 
changed theatrical songs for patriotic hymns. They 
thronged to the lectures on moral philosophy, to the 
astonishment of the professors, and the regret of 
Sniadecki, who could not understand the change. 
Zan, however, was the invisible reformer, assisted 
by the seventh class of the Radiants, called Phila- 
retes, who, on their part, were subordinate to a 
supreme committee, consisting of Philomates. Thus 
commenced a revolution, not only in the manners 
and character of the students, but also in the litera- 
ture of the country to which Adam Mickiewicz, one 
of the Radiants, added a lustre and originality never 
before attained. 

This reform among the students happened at a 
most propitious moment, and prepared the way for 
that of the whole university. In 1821, four new 
professors were added to the faculty of moral 
sciences, amongst whom were Goluchowski, a fol- 
lower of the German philosophy*, and Lelewel, an 
eminent Polish historian, and incomparable as a 



* He was the author of a valuable plulowphical work, which 
he wrote inOennan, and dedicated to the celebrated You Schelliug, 
whose pupil he had been. 



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74 THOMAS ZAN. 

pro£essor. They were enthusiastically welcomed by 
the students, besides whom a large audience, both 
male ,and female, generally attended their lectures. 
The precedence now given to moral sciences 
wrought a complete alteration in the university, 
which, in its twofold character, collegiate and. magis- 
terial, dispensed education to twelve millions of 
Poles. Lelewel, in his lectures on universal history, 
iwas compelled to introduce politics. Goluchowcdd, 
in his exposition of what the Germans call philo- 
sophy, and which alone is properly so called, forced 
•the mind to .analyze itself, independently of the 
external world. Are not the people intent on re^ 
covering their independence boimd to be both poli- 
ticians and philosophers ? Napoleon, in whom 
every instinct of despotism seemed innate, did away 
with political and moral sciences in the French In- 
stitute, stigmatizing them as ideology, too well 
aware of their power to awaken the imagination, the 
most potent of man's faculties, and to produce a 
poetic ardour, impatient of any yoke, making men 
delight in extreme perils. This was especially true 
in regard to Poland. Whatever spoke to the ima- 
.ginatidn seeodied to have the enslaved country for its 
object, and whatever was poetical was also patriotic. 
Thus Zan induced the whole youthful generation 
in the sister countries to conspire openly against the 
Russian dominion simultaneously with the secret 
associations of the kingdom. 

The Warsaw university needed no such reform, 



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NATIONAL EDUCATION. 75 

for the students here were in the very focus of pa- 
triotism, and ready to rash into danger at the first 
signal. There was also at Warsaw a Royal Scien- 
tific Society (established in 1801), consisting of 
the most illustrious men of Poland, whose principal 
object was to diffuse the knowledge of Polish history, 
from the conviction that a subjugated nation may 
still protract its existence, by preserving the constant 
recollection of its past Niemciewicz, its then pre- 
sident, the companicm and friend of Kosciuszko, 
also took that moment to publish his '' Historic 
Songs," metrical sketches of the principal events in 
the history of Poland, and of her most remarkable 
monarchs and heroes^ with illustrative notices and 
^igravings ; and the sensation excited by this work 
,was in itself tantamount to an important political 
event. Another poet, the Archbishop Woronicz, 
produced a national epic, the temple of Sybilla 
at Pulawy, so called after an edifice belonging to 
the Czartoryski family, where, since the partition, 
they had collected all the national relics in art, 
literature, and history. To this sacred shrine every 
patriot made a pilgrimage at least once in his life. 
There also misfortune, tal^it, or desert, might de- 
pend on finding an asylum or reward ; useful works 
were printed there for the instruction of the people. 
This spot was celebrated by Woronicz, in that 
splendid poem wherein he records the deeds of his 
countrymen from the remotest time to the present 
day. 



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76 NATIONAL CONSPIRACY. 

Without seeking to systematize that which might 
be accidental, it is yet interesting to observe that at 
the same time that the secret associations sprung up 
in the kingdom/ science assumed at Vilno a charac- 
ter congenial to them — ^that the Satirists retired before 
the Radiants, and that Polish literature underwent a 
remarkable change. These simultaneous phenomena 
^j in every part of Poland explain the element of her 
/ 1 posthumous existence — Conspiracy ! 

Such was the state of national conservatism in 
1822, when the secret police became aware of 
Lukasinski's preparations for an insurrection, which 
was to commence on the departure of 100,000 
Russians, who, according to rumour, would soon 
be marched into Italy, to suppress the Neapolitan 
revolution. Lukasinski, and four other officers, 
were arrested, and two of them committed suicide 
in prison, to preclude the possibility of any revela- 
tions being extorted from them. Lukasinski, and 
the two others, after a protracted court martial of 
two years, were condemned to ten years imprison- 
ment at Zamdsc, on suspicion only, flogging having 
been employed in vain to force confession. Their 
constancy saved the great patriotic association, the 
conmoittee of which was shortly after strengthened 
by Colonel Krzyzanowski, Prince Jablonowski, 
and the senator Soltyk. Persecution began, at the 
same time, at Vilno ; Constantine, on visiting that 
city, was dissatisfied with what he saw there, and 
Prince Czartoryski foreseeing the danger, ordered 



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NOVOSILZOFF AT VILNO. 77 

the Philomates to dissolve their secret committee, 
which was accordingly done in 1822. Novosilzoff, 
however, who perceived in the detection of conspi- 
racies a source of great emolument to himself, repre- 
sented to the Grand Duke that all Poland was 
plotting against the Czar, and that the universities 
were so many seminaries of Jacobinism, under the 
guidance and protection of Prince Czartoryski, and 
it was not long before an event occurred highly 
favourable to his views. 

In' May 1823, Michael Plater, only ten years of 
age, a pupil at the Vilno College, wrote on one 
of the school slates, " Long live the Constitution 
« of May 3 ! Who shall restore it to us?'' On 
being informed of this offence, Constantine des- 
patched Novosilzoff to Vilno, where he sentenced 
the young Jacobin, with five of his companions, to 
continue their education in military colonies, and 
addressed letter after letter to the Grand Duke, re- 
presenting the alarming state of Vilno, and the 
necessity of summary chastisement. Determined 
on discovering some plot, in December 1823 he 
imprisoned 1200 students in eight convents at 
Vilno, where he detained them six months. The 
usual means of torture were scourges and salted 
herrings, and their terror-struck parents paid enor- 
mous sums to Novosilzoff in the hope of saving 
their unfortunate children. He received, for in- 
stance, from Count Tyszkiewicz, 30,000 ducats, for 
the rescue of his son, twelve years of age. Deeply 



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I TO PRINCE ADAM CZARTORYSKI. 

moved by the wretched fate of his companion^^ 
Zan sacrificed himself for all, confessed that he 
alone had formed the society of Philaretes, and 
offered himself in atonement for it. His self-devo- 
tion vv^as of no avail. An ukase vs^as issued in Sep- 
tember 1824, dismissing Gdiuchowski, Lelewel, apd 
three other professors of moral faculty, and con- 
demning eleven PhUomates and nine PhUaretes to 
exile for life, in Siberia or Caucasus, for having, as 
it stated, " had the unreasonable desire of promot- 
" ing Polish nationality." Novosilzoff w^as re- 
warded by the curatorship of the university, and in 
a report, forwarded by him to St. Petersb^rgh, he 
accused Czartoryski of having ** rdtardi de cent 
^^ am Tamodgaine de la Pohgne avee la Russie.*' 
The Poles themselves could have bestowed no 
higher praise; and Alexander, in furnishing him 
with the opportunity of acquiring such merit, 
committed " uhe grande faute d'itat^^^ though ho- 
nourable to himself, in so far as it was the result 
of his friendship for the prince. — That the students 
should be persecuted by Russia, for patriotic opi- 
nions, was natural; but that the curator should 
convert their virtue and their sufferings into a 
source of sordid gain to himself, seemed indeed 
an anomaly. He ruled Lithuania like a Verres, 
sui profusmy alieni rapax. He was constantly 
inventing new reports of conspiracies, in order 
to obtain bribes from the parents of his victims ; 
he depraved their youthful minds by obscenities 



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\ / 



PERSECUTION OF THE NOBILITY. 79 

not to be named, and sold the professorships^ to 
gamblers and fortune hunters, wholly isolating the 
province from the rest of Europe. The latent 
hatred of the rising generation, enlightened by 
Czartoryski, Sniadecki, Zan, and Lelewel, prepared 
/ a merited retribution for their oppressor. 

As if the penalty he had inflicted on children 
for imputed guilt, were not sufficient, Alexander 
aimed a blow at even unborn generations, by 
an- ukase, excluding all who were not of noble 
birth from the university and other colleges* 
Czars alone may be able to explain how this 
ukase could be reconciled with another, conferring 
nobility on those who should follow up a course of 
study in the university. To render it still more 
effective, Nicholas, in 1828, ordered all nobles to 
prove the legitimacy of their rank. During the 
wars, catastrophes and exiles^ so frequent latterly 
in Poland, many a nobleman had lost his diploma 
of the rank which rendered them masters of them^ 
selves, or freemen. The object of this ukase was 
to reduce thousands to the station of peasants, serfs, 
or rather slaves, liable to military conscription, or 
the periodical transportation of the population, and 
tending to get rid of the nobles, the natural protec- 
tors of the peasants, to replace them by Russians, 
less dreaded by the Czar. It served, also, to in- 
crease the revenue, by the capitation-tax, to be paid 
by those it would render rateable as serfs, and was 
a source of great profit to the heraldic committee' 



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80 PERSECUTION OF THE NOBILITY. 

instituted in St. Petersburgh, for the purpose of 
deciding upon the authenticity of documents. The 
illustrious family of Tyszkiewicz, for example, were 
pronounced to be peasants, and only recovered their 
rank by the payment of 100,000 gold ducats. The 
consequence of this measure was, that most of the 
rich nobles were ruined, and the poor became serfs. 
The wholesale transportation of the nobility, now 
carried on by Nicholas, commenced at that epoch, 
and reduced not less than half a million of the 
bravest nation in the world to despair. The other 
classes, too, were equally, or even more incensed, 
by the Russian administration, which would have 
even stirred up negroes. Legalized injustice, hier- 
archical robbery, and authorised venality, constitute 
the character of the Russian government in the 
Polish provinces. Its principle is, that all officials, 
from the highest dignitary to the lowest attendant, 
steal; and they do so in the utmost rigour of 
the term. They are compelled to steal, since the 
existence of the government depends upon it 
That by which Russia supports her existence, and 
has become a European power, is hers neither by 
conquest nor inheritance ; and whatever is not ob- 
tained by one of these means, politically considered, 
is robbery. What treasure could suffice to pay the 
salaries of all the officials who swarm from the Black 
Sea to Moscow, thence to St. Petersburgh, and on 
to the United States of America? Such an adminis- 
tration must maintain itself, like an army in an 



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THE RUSSIAN ADMINISTRATION. 81 

enemy's country, for it is beyond the power of 
finance to devise other means. The secret extor- 
tions of the Czar's officials compensate for a salary 
so scanty that it would be hardly sufficient for a 
week. A budget in that country is a mere dream. 
Salaries increase or diminish, not annually, but 
weekly, or daily, according to the cunning or 
daring of the individual. It is impossible to calcu- 
late the taxes — always too great — ^yet, whatever the 
amount, four times as much is paid to the official 
agents. " Where all are rogues, no one is a rogue," 
is a Russian saying. Muscovy exhibits a singular 
spectacle to an impartial observer, having merely 
her slaves and taskmasters, i. e. the fourteen classes, 
forming so many grades of the sole institution — 
the Autocratism. The emperor, however, notwith- 
standing his crown and sceptre, as the representa- 
tive and head of the government, is still only the 
first rogue in his empire, since he must submit to 
suffer other rogues in office. The word must seems 
to contradict the idea of unlimited absolutism ; yet, 
unhappily for fifty millions of subjects, the Czar's 
powier, though absolute in all other respects, is re- 
stricted in this by the very nature of things, 
Nicholas has lately proclaimed himself (an(J any 
Czar could have done the same) the fourth person 
of the Trinity, without a single individual in his 
dominions dreaming of questioning the legitimacy 
of his divine pretensions j but woe to that Czar who 
should refuse to patronize the chartered rogues ! 

G 



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83 OPPRESSION OP ALL CLASSES. 

The Czars may in safety erect scaffolds for princes, 
or banish them to Siberia, but dare not take cogni- 
zance of the mal-administration of their officers, lest 
the very scarf with which they gird themselves should 
serve to teach them by what physiologic law mortals 
may perish in a critical moment. They know it ; and 
in consonance with this unyielding law, Nicholas has 
issued an ukase, threatening equal punishment to 
the briber and the bribed, in order at once to crush 
all prosecution of legal venality. The system is so 
familiar to the Russians, that they have embodied it 
in a kind of proverbial idyl : — ^' The buck robs the 
** sallow — ^the wolf robs the buck — ^the shepherd 
" robs the wolf — ^the landlord robs the shepherd — 
" the attorney robs the landlord — ^the Czar robs the 
" attorney, and the Devil himself robs the Czar*." 

Thus did the government scatter poverty with 
one hand, whilst with the other it implanted slavery. 
The rich were insurrectionized by the first, the pow 
by both; and though the welfare of the country, 
liberty and independence, are sacred objects above 
all price, yet private and selfish interests are often 
more influential in provoking the resistance of the 
bulk of mankind. In the Polono-Russian pro* 
vinces every interest, moral and physical, national 
and private, were outraged, and there wanted but 

* Russice : — ^^ Werbu kaza dierot, kazu wolk dierot, wolka 
" pastuch dierot, pastucha zasddatel dierot, zasidatela prokuror 
^* dierot, prokurcmt hosudar dierot, a hosudara sam Ceort dierot** 



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OPPRESSION OF THE JEWS. 83 

an able head to direct the force and resentment of 
the sufferers. 

Aliens did not escape the universal oppression^ 
and Nicholas now compelled the Jews, settled in 
the country, to take military service. Persecuted 
during the middle ages in every other country, the 
Jews had found in Poland an asylum so hospitable, 
that it was proverbially called their paradise, as it 
was the heaven of the nobles. Their number is 
not accurately known, but it is certain that there 
are as many in Poland alone as in the rest of Europe* 
The prejudices of the Jews must be understood before 
the offence given by this new ukase can be fully 
appreciated. Their customs do not allow of military 
service, and least of all in Russia, where no one who 
has not received baptism can rise from the ranks. 
What cares a Jew for any war that does not tend to 
the recovery of the holy land ? To preserve, and, if 
possible, to increase the race, is also one of the 
sacred dogmas of their religion and their policy. 
During twenty centuries of persecution they have 
maintained a kind of negative existence, and may be 
said to have, in mimy countries, lendered themselves 
a poison, in order that oppression may not digest 
them. Tie new ukase proved for them ai^ era of 
calamity. The young men being chiefly taken as 
recruits, the population was diminished both by the 
chances of war and the loss of heads of fanulieci. 
The Jewish soldier is not allowed to marry, nor can 
he enrich himself by mercantile pursuits* In the 



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84 OPPRESSION OF THE JEWS. 

Russian marine the Jews annually average one in 
three; and now, by a second ukase, Jewish children 
were seized and sent to Sebastopol and other ports 
of the Black Sea, to be brought up as sailors, but 
every one of these infant victims perished in the 
hospitals^. In every instance this exterminating 
system proceeded with equal severity. The Jews 
of Ostryn (a miserable borough, belonging to the 
Count of St. Priest, a French peer), being in arrears 
for taxes to the amount of 60,000 paper roubles, 
Nicholas ordered " the account to be settled, by 
" taking one Jew for 600 roubles, and 116 were 
" accordingly torn from a community of scarcely 
" 1200, including women and children." In bitter 
aggravation of this cruelty, they were prohibited 
from entering a Muscovte province, on any pretext 
whatsoever J and thus, by diminishing the numbers 
and the gains of his Jewish subjects, Nicholas created 
a host of dangerous malcontents. Though very 
numerous in the Muscovite provinces, it would be 
difficult to prove their origin. It is said, that at St. 
Petersburgh alone there are 8000 baptized Jews, 
and numerous instances show that the race does not 
die under any metamorphosis, least of all in Russia ; 
the oppression of Israel is as keenly felt by the 
humble pedlar as by the rich monopolist, the state 

* Latterly, since Nicholas extended the same barbarity to 
Polish children, many of them have been stolen by Russian 
officers and sold to Jewish parents, to be delivered to the 
..government, in lieu of their own. 



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characterJof the polish question. 85 

dignitary, or the general officer. What a prodi^ous 
number of these mysterious personages swarm in 
Russia ! They are closely connected with their breth- 
ren in Poland; and these again with those dis- 
persed over the continent, forming an association 
more powerful than the Russians are willing to 
believe. The financial operations of the empire are 
in their hands, as well as the army contracts, both 
for peace and war, and all the inferior official me- 
dical establishments. On the issuing of the ukases 
the Jews began to pray for the success of the Poles, 
whom it rested with them most effectually to assist, 
by furnishing arms and money, or by reducing Russia 
to a state of bankruptcy. Thus one common feeling 
of abhorrence for the rule of Russia, animated her 
subjects, of all classes and persuasions, in the very 
provinces most essential to her existence and to 
the safety of Europe, and especially of England. A 
few words will elucidate the fact. Russia had, in- 
deed, no sooner gained possession of the Polish pro- 
vinces, than by her new acquisitions she immediately 
extended her influence through Poland of the 
Vistula over central Europe, and by the provinces 
beyond the Bug, over Turkey, intending, on the 
one side, to wrest from Austria and Prussia all the 
Sclavonian countries, and, on the other, to subjugate 
the Ottoman Porte. It is this real view of the 
Polish question that renders it one of universal 
interest, as it involves, not alone the civilization and 
liberty of central and western Europe, together 



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86 TH£ NATURE OF :^E 

with the future destiny of the Sclavonian nations, 
but sdso commercial prosperity in the East, and 
the higher interests of policy and morals. 

The influence already attained, by Russia, in 
Moldavia, Wallachia, Greece, and Turkey, might 
convince the most sceptical of her ultimate aim. 
Yet, there are English writers, who maintain that 
the Czars do not covet the possession of Con- 
stantinople, lest her rivalry should prove injurious 
to their empire. Let not these authors suppose 
that the conquests of Russia are so devoid of 
logic: — Putant enim qui mari potitur eum rerum 
potiri. Of this truth the Czars are perfectly aware, 
and their settlements on the Caspian and Black 
Seas, are but their first bivouacs on their march 
to Constantinople* Strong incentives prompt, the 
will and power are not wanting. The most 
important portions of the empire, European and 
Asiatic, lie towards the South, communicating far 
more easily with the Mediterranean than the Baltic, 
but deprived of those natural advantages by the 
eccentric position of the capital* St. Petersburgh 
may be compared to a leech unprofitably sucking 
the vital resources of the empire. The dangerous 
centralissation, at one extremity of Russia, of all 
branches of its administration, of its riches, and of 
the court, causes the blood of the giant empire to 
flow unnaturally from fertile coimtdes to deserts 
and Bteppes, ftom a genial elimale to a temperature 
of snow and ice. Built by dint of the knout, in the 



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POWER OP RUSSIA. 87 

centre of a morass, and peopled by an ukase, St, 
Petersburgh keeps the whole empire in a state of 
apoplexy. Sound policy calls on the Czaro to 
abandon a situation of such incessant and violent 
constraint ; and, by transferring their capital to the 
South, to give the empire a more natural constitution, 
and secure its future existence and extension. It is 
known that St. Petersburgh was originally built 
with the view of acquiring the maritime power 
essential to the protection of commerce. Success 
did not crown the plan. The Russians, it is true, 
have no rival on the Baltic ; but as it is navigable 
during oidy half the year, their ships of the line are 
usually in dock for seven, if not nine months, a 
burthen rather than an advantage to the state ; the 
naval service remains imperfect, and able sailors 
cannot be trained. To secure (as Peter the Great 
advised) their power on land, by means of power at 
sea, the Czars now seek to effect on the Mediter- 
ranean what they have failed to accomplish on the 
Baltic. Empires have certain absolute requisites 
peculiar to each. Large tracts of water are as 
essential to the prosperity of vast extent of land, as 
air to animal life, and ere the present century shall be 
half elapsed, Russia must descend in the scale of poli- 
tical importance, if she does not acquire maritime 
power. The events of the last hundred years justify 
the apprehension HieA she will acquire it. Had any 
one, previous tx> the time of Peter the Great, pre- 
dicted her actual state, h»s plms would have been 



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88 THE POSSESSION OF CONSTANTINOPLE, IS 

deemed visionary j for there was less chance that the 
Russia of that day would arrive at what she now is, 
than that she should ever achieve what she cannot 
fail to do, unless she fall crushed by her own weight. 
Large masses of land seem to have indeed a poetic 
impulse in themselves, and something fantastic is 
exhibited in the rise of a political Colossus. Im- 
mense material power gives to the Czars a bearing 
of omnipotence, by which, in order to preserve their 
autocratism, they inebriate, as with a narcotic bever- 
age, the minds of their subjects with incessant con- 
quests. That same bearing seems to excite in 
them the political rapacity with which they strive 
to devour every thing around them. Call it the 
instinct of a monster or a savage, still the charms 
of an eastern clime, the monuments and ruins 
of past glory, the prestige of the City of Con- 
stantine the Great, which alone long averted the 
fall of the Greek empire, and which, as Gibbon 
remarks, was erected on the only eligible spot for 
universal dominion — more than all, the Mediterra- 
nean itself, — offer irresistible attractions to the ima^ 
gination of the Czars. After a victory at the isle 
of Aland, over the Swedish fleet, Peter the Great 
exclaimed, in a prophetic spirit — " Nature made 
" Russia unique, and she shall have no rival in her 
" career ! '* It may be added, that he who built one 
capital on Swedish ground, an^ in spite of Swedish 
cannon ; who burnt down a second under the eye 
of Napoleon, may possess himself of a third incom- 



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THE ULTIMATE VIEW OF THE RUSSIAN CABINET* 89 

paxably more desirable. As the seat of the Czars, 
Constantinople would soon become the greatest 
naval arsenal in the world. The timber of Asia 
Minor, the iron of the Caucasus, the strong long 
hemp of Sinope and Trebizond, the power of steam, 
the Greek and Muscovite sailors, to whom nature 
has not refused docility, would combine to give 
Russia a fleet powerful enough to realize the most 
sanguine plans of Peter the Great; and this fleet 
might, besides, be commanded by naval officers from 
the United States of America, who would see, with 
infinite satisfaction, a rival to England in the old 
world. The fall of Turkey would then make Eng- 
land regret the dismemberment of Poland, the natu- 
ral ally of the Porte. To be blind to the chances 
of such a consummation, and, should England at- 
tempt to oppose it, to the no less probable attack 
on India, is, no doubt, comfortable, but neither wise 
nor safe. Had Poland remained independent and 
intact, these gigantic schemes could never have 
been contemplated by the Czars. Let Russia (the 
geographical situation of Poland being borne in 
mind) be imagined as extending from the Icy sea to 
the Crimea, without the Polish provinces, on the one 
I hand ; and, on the other, Poland supposed to be re- 
hi'.v '^A/K established, Russia would then at once be cut off 
^^- jj from Odessa and Turkey, as well as from all com- 
^ /^^' munication with central Europe. Poland has, there- 
/ [w^ ^ fore, become the conductor of the Czar*s power from 
'^ ^/'l the North to the East, South and West, and is, in 



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90 THE IMPORTANCE OF POLISH 

his political system, that which the heart is for the 
circulation of the bloody the pulse of a new North. 
Ancient Poland, as the Congress of Vienna proposed, 
end the insurrection of 1880 vainly endeavoured, to 
re-establish her, stretched towards the Black Sea, and 
comprised Odessa, Akennan, and the mouth of the 
Dnieper. The Tatars of the Crimea were her neigh- 
bours, and those of Otchakoff recognised her supre- 
macy* The Dniester separated her from Moldavia, 
and towards the mouth of the Dnieper were the Cos- 
sacks^ who, in their expeditions down the Black 
Sea, carried alarm to the suburbs of Constantinople. 
Organized as a regular militia by Sigismund the First 
and Steph^ Batory, they formed an effective guaid 
to Christendom against the Turks, the Tatars, and 
the Muscovites. This force, now wielded by Rus- 
sia, enables her to press upon Turkey; but it is evi- 
dent that her Polish provinces, both in the North 
and South, occupying a central position in this 
a^ressive system, and uniting her former to her 
new acquisitions, would, if thrown into a state of 
insurrection, interrupt the military, administrative, 
and commercial intercourse throughout the em- 
pire, and finally dislodge the Colossus from its 
pedestal. In this point of view, a protracted wai>- 
jGare would prove more advantageous than even a 
victory neax Warsaw. In speaking of Russia, the 
idea of her being a desert, physically and politically, 
should be borne in mind. Inaccessible in the inte- 
riorj her invulnerable points are on the frontiers, of 



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INDEPENDENCE TO ENGLAND. 91 

which the Polish provinces form the boundary line to- 
wards Europe. Her real strength lies in herconquests> 
all situated towards the limits of her empire. Take 
these away, and the remainder can neither be con-^ 
quered, nor is worth the attempt Had Napoleon 
been aware of this, his campaign would have been 
successful ; and never was there a greater mistake 
than that he committed in sacrificing strategy to 
tactics through his desire for battles, after he had 
obtained the object of war by the occupation of the 
Polish provinces. Prom Vilno or Kiow, but not from 
Moscow, he might, had he consented to winter in 
Poland, have dictated a treaty as favourable for 
France as disastrous to Russia or England. 

Besides the peril which the Czars entailed on their 
native empire, by the oppression of the Polish pro- 
vinces, they were threatened by one of no less mag- 
nitude on the part of their own Russian subjects. 
Their intercourse with the Poles, since the partition, 
aided by foreign education, and their campaigns 
against Napoleon, have awakened the conviction 
amongst the military aristocracy of Russia, that 
\ A their country can only become free and dvilLzed 
^4^\ ^y *he dismemberment of her parts. Upon this 
principle, " The Secret Society of the True Som 
" 1 of Russia," vms established, in 1816, at Moscow; 
. *" and subsequently directed by a Committee for the 
\^ Northern department of St Petersburgh, and for 
the Southern at Tultchyn, at the head of which 



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92 THE RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY. 

were Pestel and Ryleyeff, both men of consider* 
able ability. The idea of the former was to 
separate Russia into as many independent nations 
as it originally consisted of, which he proposed then 
to form into two Confederative Republics — a North- 
em and a Southern — on the model of the United 
States of America ; and the Polish and Russian Jews 
scattered through the empire were to be settled in 
some part of Asia. A military revolution, of which 
examples were not wanting in Spain, Naples, and 
Piedmont, was the appointed means for carrying 
this scheme into effect. Speaking of the Romanoif 
dynasty, Pestel said — "I must have thirteen vic- 
^' tims ; for, though it be cruel to murder women, 
" it is indispensable that the whole of the Imperial 
" family should be for ever cut off from the throne." 
He did not quite forget himself in his arrangements, 
reserving as his own share the Presidency of one of 
the republics for ten years, after which he intended 
to retire into some monastery at Kiow, and die a 
monk ! The Association spread still wider in 1824, 
by its union with the Sclavonian Society of Borysofi^ 
which had for its object the formation of a Confede- 
rative Republic, to consist of Russia, Poland, Hun- 
gary, Bohemia, Moravia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Servia, 
Bosnia, Moldavia, and Wallachia — ^in other words, 
of all the Sclavonian countries. This gigantic pro- 
ject promises now to be eflected in the form of a^ 
absolute monarchy. 



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THE INTERVIEW AT KIOW. 93 

The presence, however, of a brother of the Czar 
at Warsaw, who might march at the head of the 
Polish and Lithuanian corps to quell a revolution in 
St. Petersburgh, caused some anxiety to these Rus- 
sian associations. They learned, therefore, with 
much satisfaction, that the Poles also meditated 
breaking their chains, and under these circumstances 
it was easy to establish a mutual understanding. 
Shortly after Colonel Krzyzanowski had an inter- 
view at Kiow with Bestuzeff and Muravieff, two 
members of the Russian Association. ^^ It is time," 
said the Russian, ^^ that the two nations should 
*^ cease to hate each other, the interest of both being 
" the same. Our Association will use every effort 
*^ to obliterate all cause of mutual aversion." He 
then endeavoured to obtain a promise, that, in the 
event of a Russian revolution, the Poles would rid 
themselves of Constantine, without scruple as to the 
jneans employed ; but Krzyzanowski, who had been 
sent thither to make observations, rather than to con- 
tract engagements, was inflexible on this point, and 
the parties separated without deciding on any deter- 
minate plan of action. 

A second interview took place at Kiow in the 
beginning of 1826, between Prince A. Jablonowski 
for the Poles, and Pestel for the Russians, at the 
residence of the Russian Prince Wolkonsky . Pestel 
construed the aversion of the Poles to shed royal 
blood, into a personal attachment to Constantine, 
and desired to know what kind of government they 



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94 THE DEATH OF ALEXANDER. 

intended to establish. It was with much difficulty 
that Jablonowski could make him comprehend that, 
though conspiring against the same power, the views 
of the two parties were different— that of the 
Russians being to acquire liberty — of the Poles, to 
recover their territory and independence. At length 
it was decided, that the latter should prevent Con- 
stantine from marching to St Petersburgh, regain 
their provinces, and establish a government of their 
own choice ; but as respected eventual co-operation, 
nothing was even this time finally determined. 

In December, of the same year, Alexander died at 
Taganrog, just as a dangerous revolution was on the 
eve of breaking out. The words of a French writer, 
that, *^ Une belle vie est une pensie de la jeunesse 
" exicuUe par Vdge mUr^^ cannot be applied in full 
to him J for though in youth animated by a generous 
spirit, in after-life his motto was, ^* Concohr vero 
** dolus^ A liberal Czar would be an anomaly, 
which Alexander was not. That he was not devoid of 
sensibility, is evident from the remorse he felt for his 
crimes. ^' Two years before his death," says Sir James 
Wylie, his English physician, " Alexander fell into 
'^ marasmus and insanity. Like all madmen, he had 
** lucid intervals, in which the last ray of reason is the 
** brightest that the dying lamp emits. In that im- 
" mediately before his death he exclaimed, ^ What 
" * an atrocious action.* To what did he allude?" 
asks Sir Jiutnes, and thus replies, — ^^ Alexander had 
^< committed two great crimes ; he suffered his father 



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THE EXECUTION OF PESTS L. 95 

" to be assassinated, and Napoleon to be slowly 
" murdered." It is certain that his parricide 
destroyed his peace of mind, and that he sought 
refuge from the spectre that haunted his imagination, 
in religious mysticism, and finally embraced the 
Roman Catholic creed, which does not refuse 
absolution to any penitent who sincerely repents of 
his sins*. 

By Constantine's abdication, Nicholas ascended 
the imperial throne, which was, as usual, stained with 
blood ; but on the present occasion it was with that 
of the subjects. The Pestel revolution broke out 
and failed, both in St. Petersburgh and Kiow; and 
Pestel, Muravieff, and others, died on the scafibld, 
martyrs for Russian liberty. There was scarcely a 
family of distinction in the empire but was more 
or less implicated in the catastrophe ; and though 
the great scheme did not then succeed, it is 

* His conveisioii is proved by the foUowing fact :— ^During 
his journey to Taganrog, at Orsza, he had three private inteyriews, 
each lasting seveial hours, with a Franciscan friar, celebrated for 
his piety. • In his last agony, he refused to see any priest of the 
Greek church, and died without spiritual aid. The empress had 
been converted to the Roman Gathofic fkith by the Jesuits, and 
on her death-bed was attended by a Bomish priest. This reli- 
gioQs apostaoy produced a romantio aflbction between the imperial 
couple, who bad before mutually avoided each other. The Jesuits 
effected many conversions, especially of females, and on this 
account were subsequently expelled from Bussia, at the instigation 
of the Greek clergy. 



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96 THE PERSECUTION OF POLISH PATRIOTS. 

believed that the day may yet come when it will 
be effected. 

the confessions of the Russian conspirators, 
the new Czar learnt the existence of the Patriotic 
Association in Poland, and, in consequence, he 
authorised Constantine to arrest whomsoever he 
might think proper. Colonel Krzyzanowski, who 
was certain to be amongst the number, refused to 
listen to the entreaties of the officers at Warsaw, 
either to hasten the insurrection, or to secure his 
own safety by flight. Believing that the insurrection 
would break out of itself, in the mean time he 
chose the doom of a martyr, rath er than that of a 
hero ; and so also did his colleagues. Constantine 
executed the order to its fullest extent, and having 
filled seven state prisons in Warsaw, besides the 
fortresses of Zamosc and Modlin, he instituted a 
committee of his courtiers to examine the prisoners. 
After the lapse of a year, eight persons were 
committed on a charge of high treason, which the 
interviews, already mentioned, with the Russians, 
tended greatly to aggravate. Resolved that the affair 
should end tragically, Constantine demanded that 
they should be tried by a court-martial, by which he 
thought to justify his former acts of violence, illegal 
imprisonment, and oppressive decrees ; and in this 
he was supported by Novosilzoff, who was anxious 
to prove, by a bloody sentence, that he was right in 
whatever he had advisedfor the destruction of Poland. 



.•!^ 



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THE HIGH NATIONAL COURT. 97 

The supremacy of the one in the administration, and 
the credit of the other at the court of the new Czar, 
depended on their counsel being approved. It was 
sufficient that any opinion should be held by them, 
to ensure its opposition by Lubecki, who had, 
besides, all along assured the Czars of the unshaken 
fidelity of the Poles, and advocated the propriety of 
a legal trial by a high national court, composed of 
senators. A violent contest ensued in the state 
council, conducted with extraordinary skill by 
Lubecki, whose wish to humble hi& two opponents, 
rendered him the guardian of the law, and the 
defender of the prisoners in the first instance, and 
then of their judges. All that high intellect and 
eloquence could do — animated by such motives, and 
by the difficulty of his position between Russian 
policy, ably supported by Novosilzoff, and the 
necessity of saving the state prisoners — ^between 
the Czar and the Czarewitch — was done, and with 
perfect success by Lubecki, whose character for 
patriotism was thus established. 

Beaten on this point, Novosilzoff still did not 
relinquish his design, and demanded of the State 
Council, what should be done with the prisoners, in 
case of their acquittal ? This question — ^proposed 
for the first time in a civilized country — was 
seriously discussed, and it was resolved that they 
should be detained in prison, until the decree of 
the court should be confirmed by the sovereign — in 

H 



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98 THE HIGH NATIONAL COURT. 

other words, that they should be punished, in spite 
of their acquittal. 

Although the government apparently adopted 
a legal course with regard to the prisoners, still 
Novosilzoff, at the suggestion of Constantine, and 
with the Czar's approbation, drew up an organic 
statute of proceedings, by which the High Court 
was directed to adhere, during the trial, and which, 
when applied to the Polish criminal code, was found 
to contain such glaring contradictions, that the 
senators might. acquit the prisoners with perfect 
security to themselves. The High Court, in which 
the senatorBielinski presided, began by annulling 
the report of the special committee, the state- 
ments therein contained having been extorted 
by flogging, as was proved, on the person of 
the senator Soltyk, a man eighty years of age. 
After a full investigation of the affair, it appeared 
that the chaige of high treason could not be 
substantiated; Colonel Krzyzanowski wa^ alone 
found guilty of the non-revelation of the Russian 
conspiracy. 

Every effort was made to induce the High Court 
to pass sentence of death on the prisoners, hints 
being thrown out, in that case, of royal mercy, 
whilst, at the very time, a proposition was before 
council, for establishing a colony of condemned 
Poles in Siberia ! Pending the trial, obstinate and 
iscandalous struggles continually occurred between 



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THE HIGH NATIONAL COURT. 99 

the police and the populace, to the infinite vexa- 
tion of Constantine as well as Novosilzoff, who 
sought comfort in intoxication. To Lubecki this 
was a season of the highest satisfaction, not at 
the aspect now assumed by the trial, but at the 
triumph which he considered it afforded him, at 
St. Petersburgh, over the imperial commissary, 
forgetful that he was thus preparing a mine 
which might ruin, by its explosion, himself, his 
rival, the kingdom, and his master's throne. The 
populace repairing in throngs to the palace, where 
the trial was conducted, Constantine, in his 
hatred of them, rendered himself a policeman of 
the court, forbidding those without uniforms to 
enter at all, and compelling the rest to inscribe their 
names in a book, with a view to facilitate future 
persecution. Driven from the avenues of the palace, 
the people collected in the adjacent square ; and on 
a squadron advancing to expel them, fresh fights 
ensued. Malignant satires, or bold appeals, were 
circulated in MS., in default of a free press ; their 
effect being the greater, as the authors were un- 
known, and remained so, in spite of the efforts 
of the police to discover them. Close watch was 
kept by the spies over the relations, and even the 
visitors of the senators, who continued to rise in 
public opinion in proportion as they were persecuted. 
The court was thus beset, on the one hand by the 
Grand Duke and all the mercenary in Poland, on 
the other by all who desired to humble him and his 



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100 THE HIGH NATIONAL COURT. 

minions. Their wish was gratified. The High 
Court, with the exception of General Krasinski, 
unanimously acquitted the prisoners of high treason, 
Krzyzanowski alone being condemned to six 
years' imprisonment (commencing from the time of 
his arrest) for not having revealed the conspiracy. 
Such a verdict, pronounced by the most distinguished 
men of the country, might have proved to the 
despotic triumvirate, that when Poles make an 
effort to restore their country, no intimidation will 
induce other Poles to view it as a crime. The 
national spirit had never been so decidedly mani- 
fested, since the establishment of the kingdom. 
Warsaw was actually in insurrection, having its 
government in the High Court, against which 
Constantine struggled in vain for the interests of 
the empire, endangered by the observation of a 
single article of the charter, introduced by Alexander, 
and sworn to by Nicholas. 

As if still further to exasperate the emperor, 
thirsting more than ever for vengeance on the Poles 
since the late effusion of Russian blood, Bielinski, 
the president, forwarded a report illustrative of the 
sentence passed by the court, which may be thus 
epitomized: — " That so far from being guilty of 
" high treason, the prisoners had done no more than 
" their duty in promoting the interests of nationality, 
*^ guaranteed by the treaty of Vienna, and by 
" Alexander's solemn promise to unite all his Polish 
" subjects." 



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ii 



THE HIGH NATIONAL COURT. 101 

It needed not the commentary with which Con- 
stantine accompanied this document, to infuriate 
Nicholas, indignant not less at the irony veiled under 
terms apparently respectful to the throne, and 
dignified for the nation, than at the boldness with 
which it justified the prisoners by the very words of 
Alexander, and hinted at the separation of the 
country in case of further aggressions on the 
charter. After reading the report, he wrote' to his 
brother, ** J^en conclus qiie le prhident, par ce 
" rapport, a manqu6 a ses devoirs envers son roi, 
^^ envers sa pairiey et qu'il doit itre accusi de crime 

d^HatJ"' The difficulty lay in selecting the 
persons to conduct the trial, of the president, 
who, on being interrogated as to the author 
of the document, and whether it expressed his own 
opinion, or that of all the senators, replied that he 
was merely the organ of their sentiments, and that 
Prince Czartoryski had drawn up the report. On 
being superseded at Vilno, by NovosilzofF, the 
Prince had gone to Italy ; but on receiving intelli- 
gence of the impending trial, he hastened back to 
resume his seat in the senate, and no longer restrained 
by personal considerations for Alexander, had 
openly joined the opposition. To his marked 
interference in favour of the prisoners, it may be 
attributed, that Nichdas dropped his design of 
calling the senate to account. 

Constantine, however, was little disposed for 
submission ; and by his advice, in September 1828, 



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102 OPINION OF THE MINISTERS, 

Nicholas demanded of the council whether the 
sentence of the High Court might be attributed 
to the imperfection of the code, or to the disposi- 
tion of its members to encourage criminal designs ; 
as in that case he would take measures to extirpate 
such abominable doctrines. Lubecki, as the origi- 
nator of the High Court, without which a court- 
martial could have condenmed the prisoners (a 
practice usual under Alexander), was accountable 
for its acts. Constantine and NovosilzofF, there- 
fore, hoped, by these questions, to force him either 
to confess that the senators had countenanced 
high treason, thus virtually owning himself guilty, 
or to declare that in not condemning an attempt to 
throw off the yoke of Russia, they committed no 
guilt. He chose the latter alternative, and still more 
signally foiled his antagonists. A contest now 
ensued in the State Council, and lasted two months, 
during all which time he displayed such talent, 
patience, and rhetorical power, sometimes speaking 
for eight hours at once, as commanded the ap- 
plause even of his adversaries, and secured to him 
ja character for patriotism, of which he afterwards 
/availed himself to mislead the insurrection. The 
debate concluded, by resolving that the acquittal 
arose from a defect in the law; and a separate 
report was drawn up, and presented by each 
minister, for the consideration of the emperor. 
Lubecki's was the most remarkable. With incom- 
parable acuteness it traced the manifold contradic- 



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OPINION OF THE MINISTERS. 103 

tions of the code, and pointed out the organic 
statute composed by Novosilzoff, as the cause of 
endless confusion, by providing the High Court 
with a justification as efficient as could have been 
devised by the greatest foe of Russian sway. The 
following extract may serve as a specimen of his 
sophistry : — " Had I been in the place of the judges, 
*^ I would have surmounted every obstacle, impel- 
" led by the high feeling, that the slightest attempt 
" against the royal authority, or even the non- 
" revelation of such an attempt, should be visited 
" with the utmost rigour. On this ground alone, 
" I would, without scruple, have condemned the 
" prisoner Krzyzanowski, although guilty rather of 
" imprudence than of any criminal intent. Still, as 
" I should have done so in absolute defiance of 
^* existing statutes, and as such contempt of the 
" law might have entailed fatal consequences, it 
" follows that one who would so have dared, 
** would have deserved the greatest punishment; 
" and had there been two LubeckiSy the one mi" 
" nistevy and the other judge, the former ought to 
^' have sentenced the latter to be hanged.'' Similar 
reports were forwarded by all the other ministers 
except Hauke (a naturalized German), who sugr 
gested, for such cases, in future, a court-martial, 
consisting of Poles and Russians. The minister 
Mostowski, in his approval of Lubecki's opinion, 
made the following profound and ambiguous 
observation, the deep sense of which, however, was 



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104 TRANSPORTATION TO ST. PETERSBURGH. 

probably lost to the congealed brains on the 
Neva : — " H est difficile qu'une nation conquise s'en- 
" tende avec ses dominateurs, surtout lorsque les 
" principes de leurs gouvernemens respectifs ont pen- 
" dant des si^cles ete entierement opposes. II faut 
" voir 6couler des generations avant que les sujets 
^^ nouvellement acquis parviennent k comprendre 
" quHl ne s^agit plus de discuter, mais simplement 
" d'oUirr 

This blow was the more irritating to Constantine, 
as it was dealt by men who had hitherto been sub- 
servient to him. He forwarded to the Czar a fresh 
report upon those of the ministers, which produced 
no effect. His disappointment was so great, that 
he compared it with that which he considered the 
greatest calamity that had befallen him in life — ^the 
introduction by Nicholas of a new form of military 
pantaloons and buttons, contrary to his representa- 
tion, and in the language of the courtiers of the 
Belvedere, he thenceforth wore the aspect of a cloud. 
Following the example of his minister NovosilzojfP 
he sought comfort in intoxication. Notwithstanding 
their acquittal, the prisoners were carried to St. Pe- 
tersburgh, where they lingered a year in the prison 
of Petro-Paulosk ; Colonel Krzyzanowski was never 
released, and his fate is still unknown. The sena- 
tors remained for six months under the surveil- 
lance of the Warsaw police, till, at length, Nicholas 
was persuaded to ratify their sentence, not without 
assuring them, at the same time, of the paternal 



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FUNERAL OF BIELINSKI. 106 

displeasure he felt towards them all, except General 
Krasinski, whom he pronounced to have deserved 
well of his own country, and of the empire. Bielinski 
died shortly after, and his funeral was a national so- 
lemnity. Czartoryski delivered an oration in honour 
of the deceased. The students of the University 
followed his remains to the grave, and beat off the 
police, who endeavoured to prevent their dividing 
the pall amongst them, every one being desirous of 
preserving some memorial of the virtuous patriot. 
General Krasinski's son, not attending the proces- 
sion, was the next day expelled from the University 
by his fellow students, and not even Constantine 
ventured to interpose in his behalf. This funeral 
raised the insurrectionary spirit to the highest pitch, 
even the dead thus conspiring with the living against 
the Czars. A word from any of the senators would 
have sufficed to rouse the people ; but having per- 
formed their duty, they also were more ready to 
become martyrs than heroes, leaving tlie task to 
younger men, and it was not long before these were 
found. 

In barracks not far from the Belvedere, more than 
160 pupils pursued their military studies, as ensigns 
or comets, cut off from all communication with any 
one besides Constantine, who caressed, invited, or con- 
demned them to merciless chastisement, according to 
bis momentary caprice. These youths, each com- 
petent to command a regiment, a brigade, or a divi- 
sion, to the satisfaction even of the much requiring 



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106 CORONATION OF NICHOLAS. 

Constantine^— patriotic, with all the enthusiasm 
bdongiDg to their age, were thought, by their super* 
intendent, Peter Wysocki, a sub-lieutenant of the gre- 
nadier lifeguards, fit instruments for an insurrection. 
This man, thus accidentally rendered the first mover of 
the insurrection in 1830, though he had read many 
works on history and tactics, possessed little know- 
ledge, and was entirely destitute of what is usually 
called ^' genius." His inspiration was in his heart; 
feeling supplied the place of thought ; and his talents 
were his passionate love of his country, his courage, 
and his inflexible honesty. The great trial was no 
sooner over than he formed (December 1828) the 
ensigns into secret societies, ready to rise in arms at 
the first fitting opportunity — ^nor was it long before 
that opportunity offered. 

S[n June 1829, Nicholas, accompanied by all his 
family, arrived in Warsaw, to be crowned. The 
ceremony was marked by the following occurrence. 
The Czar, having placed the crown of the Polish 
king upon his head, the Archbishop Woronicz read 
the prayer for the sovereign, ending with, " Long 
" live the king ! " The aspiration was echoed only 
by the walls of the cathedral, — and a second time 
was received in nearly equal silence, a few voices 
only joining. A more expKcit protest against Rus- 
sian usurpation had been meditated by the ensigns ; 
and they accordingly came to parade on the square 
of Saxony, in presence of the Imperial family, with 
their muskets loaded, resolved, by one blow, to 



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THE DIET. 107 

punish the house of RomanojfF for a century of 
crime. Russia being then at war with Turkey, these 
young men considered their eoup-d^itat as far supe- 
rior to what any diplomatist could devise on that 
occasion. But certain members of the diet repre- 
senting to them, that no Pole had ever stained him- 
self with royal blood, they desisted, after vainly urg- 
ing the salus patrus suprema lex esto, and that their 
present ruler was not a king, but an usurper. The 
Turkish war being ended to his satisfaction, Nicholas, 
in May 1830, summoned the first and last diet held 
during his reign, at the same time informing the 
deputies that they were called together solely by his 
wiU. Alexander would have termed it the impulse of 
Ms heart The diet, though recruited by some cou- 
rageous characters, still fell far short of the lofty feel- 
ing so powerfully raised by theHigh Court, and which 
now urged the nation with irresistible force against 
the foreign rulers. This characteristic of the diet, 
which was destined afterwards to rule the insurrec- 
tion, should be constantly kept in mind. It endea- 
voured, though vainly, to bring to trial the minister 
who had delayed the publication of the sentence 
pronounced by the High Court, and was constrained 
to vote the erection of a monument to Alexander, 
proposed by Nicholas himself, in honour of his pre- 
decessor's tyraany. 

The existence of the kingdom may be said to have 
terminated with the fourth diet. From this moment 
le terns vole et les ivinemens avec lui. Yet, before 



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108 SCHISM IN LITERATURE. 

the Poles rose to expel the foreign intruder, they 
gained an important moral triumph. The general 
excitement, which found no utterance in the diet, 
burst forth like a volcano, and found a channel for 
its glowing vitality in the wide field of literature, 
where two parties soon took their stand — ^the respec- 
tive followers of Classicism and Romanticism. Their 
dispute may be said to have hinged upon the ques- 
tion, whether poetry should be fettered by the rules 
of Horace, or left free as the muse of Shakspeare. 
The former, in fact, contended for the maintenance 
of foreign authority, the latter preached a crusade 
against all authority. The nation, from its abhor- 
rence of foreign rule, joined the Romanticists, 
and they gained a further triumph, by the support of 
A. Mickiewicz, one of the Vilno Radiants, who, 
having been banished to the Caucasus by Alexander, 
and subsequently, at the request of Prince Gali- 
czyn, removed to St. Petersburgh, had there, under 
the very eye of the enemy, published his Conrad 
Wallenrod, a poem conveying a profound political 
lesson to the heart of his compatriots. The hero, a 
Lithuanian and a Pagan, taken prisoner by the Teu- 
tonic knights during one of their wars of extermina- 
tion with his country, accepts service in the ranks of 
the crafty order, rises to be grand master, and being 
thus obliged to lead the war against his native land* 
betrays the Teutonic army to inevitable ruin, and then 
delivers himself up to death at the hands of the 
knights. The Poles, identifying Wallenrod with 



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MOCK REVOLUTION. 109 

Prince Czartoryski, showed, by the avidity with which 
the work was read, that they comprehended the poet's 
meaning. He made a no less powerful appeal 
to his countrymen in Grazyna, another poem, cele- 
brating the devotion of a Lithuanian lady to her 
husband and country. Such compositions did much 
to fan the flame of independence ; and thus, when 
accounts of the French July revolution reached War- 
saw, the whole population, as with one voice, spoke 
only of insurrection. 

Constantine, now alarmed in his turn, endea- 
voured, as a conciliatory measure, to reform an 
abuse which hitherto he had himself counten- 
anced. A committee (consisting entirely of his 
courtiers) had formerly been established in concert 
with the Warsaw municipality, for the purpose of 
providing quarters for the officers of the Russian 
garrison; and, although magnificent barracks had 
since been erected at the expense of the city, the 
householders were still required to pay the previous 
exorbitant tax for the accommodation of 200 gene- 
rals attached to 8000 troops. The Czarewitch now 
appointed a commission to inquire into this abuse ; 
but this tardy semblance of justice only plunged 
him into still greater perplexity. Suddenly rumours 
burst forth of an approaching revolt j appeals were 
circulated amongst the Polish regiments ; bills stuck 
on the walls of the Belvedere, announced it to be 
let from the commencement of the new year. Yet 
the police, with all their alertness, could no where 



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110 GENERAL GHLOPICKl. 

find the conspirators^ the alarm being a fabrication 
of the committee, in order to divert the thoughts of 
Constantine from his proposed reform, as also to 
obtain further marks of his protection for themselves, 
the greater part of them being chiefs of the Secret 
Police*; Sheltered by the interest taken in the false 
revolution, Peter Wysocki was enabled more securely 
to mature the true one, and daily to gain fresh parti- 
sans in the garrison. There v^ras no hesitation about 
the choice of a leader. The nation, as well as him* 
self, unanimously assigned that post to the non-com- 
missioned General Chlopickij and Constantine, aware 
of the popular admiration, did what he could to 
undermine it, by assuming that the general was on 
friendly terms with himself. The 18th of October, 
1830, and the square of Saxony had been the day 
and place first fixed upon for the outbreak ; but all 
things not being ready, it was deferred till the 29th 
of November. By some mismanagement, however, 
notice of the alteration was not given to all the con- 
spirators, and many young men, armed with pistols, 
appeared in the square on the day first assigned. 
Chlopicki was present, and the Czarewitch, anxious 
to show the people that' the general did not share 
their animosity, hastened to meet and walk with 
him. This remarkable scene recalled that of Egmont 
and the Duke of Alba. Armed young men were 
placed all around, impatient for the signal, whilst 

* Memoirs of M. Kozuchowski, a Referendary of State. 
(Polish Kronika, Vol. V.) 



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DESIGNS AGAINST FRANCE. Ill 

the future chief of the insurrection walked with the 
brother of the Czar, the first victim or prisoner of 
that same insurrection. So moved thi9 stately man 
through the streets of Warsaw, a problem for his 
nation^ doomed to repose in him a blind confidence, 
and not less so to Russia, who had not such a gene- 
ral to oppose him. 

Affairs went on yet more rapidily, during the 
month of November. An imperial ukasOf placed 
the Polish army on a war establishment, with a view, 
as was then surmised, and afterwards demonstrated 
by papers found in the Belvedere, of maldng it the 
vanguard of a possible coalition of thft nnrthfrn 
powers affl>inst Fr ance. Lubecki also received an 
order to hold in readiness the funds accumulated by 
his ruinous measures. Thus the Poles were menaced 
with infomy, shotdd they take part in a liberticidal 
war, and merited ruin, should they allow their 
resources to be applied in its support. It was wiser, 
therefore, to employ both their arms and treasure 
against a foe already weakened by the late campaign, 
at a moment also when no hostile intervention was 
to be apprehended from Austria, and when an effect- 
ual check on Prussia, if not other positive aid, might 
be expected from the France of July. But, although 
these considerations might hasten, they certainly did 
not cause this last effort of the Poles; who must 
have utterly sunk as a nation had they, with resist- 
ance still in their power, continued to compromise 
and submit. 



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112 EVE OF THE INSURRECTION. 

With regard to Wysocki, as a military man, he 
foresaw the perdition of Poland in the first victory 
won by the Polish troops in conjunction with those 
of Russia, which would cement their fraternity by 
the powerful prestige of conamon danger and glory j 
the insurrection therefore, was unalterably fixed for 
the 29th of November. Let the tyranny of their 
oppressors justify the insurgents with those who 
think they require justification ; Poles admit of no 
such need, and assign no other reason than their 
irrevocable determination to be free. 
'^ Onlh^^SWlTall being prepared for the following 
Monday, some of the young conspirators went to a 
ball to amuse themselves, as they believed, for the 
last time. Thus eleven years of conspiracy closed 
with dancing. The following Sunday the same 
youths went to church and confessed themselves, 
and thus confirmed the words of the poet : — 

^' Between the acting of a dreadful thing, 
^^ And the first motion, all the interim is 
'^ Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream : 
^^ The genius, and the mortal instruments 
" Are then in council ; and the state of man, 
^^ like to a little kingdom, suffers then 
" The nature of an insurrection." 



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CHAPTER in. 

Insurrection at Warsaw, 

The conspirators had formed their plan with a 
view of disarming, or, incase of resistance, of dis- 
abling the Russian garrison at Warsaw, which at 
that time consisted of five regiments; two infantry, 
and one cuirassiers, one hussars, and one lancers j 
in all, about 8,000 men, with six pieces of artil- 
lery. The Polish force consisted of three regiments ; 
the grenadier life guards, the horse chasseurs life 
guards, and the fourth of the line, with a battalion of 
sappers, sixteen companies drawn from various other 
regiments, and twelve pieces of artillery. Total, about 
9,000. Thus the Poles had the superiority, both as 
to numbers and effectiveness, as the Russian cavalry 
could not possibly act with advantage in the streets. 
The Grand Duke Constantine was to be taken, alive 
or dead. The signal for the attack, which was to 
commence at six o'clock in the evening shnultaneously 
at all points, was the setting fire to an old brewery 
in Solec, at the southern extremity of Warsaw, and 
near the Belvedere. Between the palace and the bar- 
racks, where the Russian cavalry were quartered, 
lies the park of Lazienki, 

I 



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114 SIGNAL PREMATURELY GIVEN. 

On the 29th of November, eighteen civilians, mostly 
young students of the university, w^ho had been admit- 
ted into the conspiracy, assembled at the appointed 
hour in the park, by the bridge of Sobieski. Oviring 

I' to some unaccountable accident the fire Mras kindled 
at half-past five instead of six, and had already died 
away, and this mistake nearly caused the failure of the 
plot. The Russian cavalry as weH as the police had 
taken alarm ; numerous sentinels with lights traversed 
the park in every direction, and the student conspi- 
lators owed their safety solely to the extreme darkness 
x>f the night. Tranquillity was soon restored; but the 
eighteen adventurers had still to wait a full hour, long 
as a century, for a new signal of attack. The delay 
was owing to the non-appearance of Wysocki, who, 
contrary to his usual punctuality, had remained thuis 
long in the city. At seven o'clock he arrived, and im- 
mediately hastened to the ensigns' barracks, whilst 
Louis Nabielak, acivilian of great courage, divided the 
eighteen young men into two bands, of nine persons 
eaxjh. At the head of one of these, composed of the 
strongest men amongst them, for in moral courage 
all were equal, he marched to the Belvedere by the 
principal gate, whilst the other watched the palace 
from the rear. Rushing into the court-yard, he 
vociferated " Death to the tyrant !" and the cry, 
accompanied by the report of firing in the adjacent 
barracks, alike terrified the household and animated the 
invaders. They pursued their way, breaking through 
doors, without encountering any opposition. A deep 



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ATTACK ON THE BELVEPERE. US 

silence reigned in the palace; at length they perceived 
a man lying down behind the door. It was the Vice 
President of Municipality Lubovidzki, who had 
brought the information that a revolution was on the 
eve of breaking out. Several strokes left him sense- 
less on the floor, but not dead, owing to the 
inexpertness of the young men in the trade of arms. 
The bird, so they called Constantine, was however 
flown. He had been dragged out of bed by his ser- 
vants on the first alarm, and carried to the princess 
Lowicka's pavilion. She instantly summoned her 
ladies in waiting, and placing Constantine in the 
midst she knelt with them in prayer, persuaded that 
the defence offered by religion, and by sex, would 
disarm all Polish revenge. These first avengers of 
their nation, having spread alarm through the palace 
which had for fifteen years served as a bastille to their 
countrymen, were retreating, when they accidentally 
met the Russian General Gendre, " the basest of the 
" base," as Constantine used to call him. " Je suis 
" General du jour," he exclaimed; but with them it 
was the day of long protracted vengeance, and he 
fell dead beneath their weapons. Having rejoined 
his other band, Nabielak hastened back to the bridge 
of Sobieski, where he found the ensigns at a propi- 
tious moment, a part of the Russian cavalry driven 
from their barracks having galloped to the Belvedere. 
When Wysocki presented himself to the ensigns, 
who were at that moment listening to a lecture on 
tactics, he drew his sword, loudly exclaiming, " Poles ! 



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116 ATTACK ON THE BARRACKS. 

*' the hour of revenge is come at last, we conquer or 
" die this night, let our breasts prove a ThermopylaB 
" to our enemies !" To arms, to arms ! responded 
the young athlets, while they loaded their muskets 
and rushed down, prepared in less time than is re- 
quired for the pen to describe the scene. They 
marched directly to the cavalry barracks, and on 
reaching them, fired in the air as a signal to six 
companies of Polish grenadiers, whose support they 
had been assured of; and these were the shots heard 
when Nabielak invaded the Belvedere. Advancing 
rapidly the ensigns fired on the Russian cavalry, 
a great number of whom were already mounted, 
and fifty men were killed on the spot. The rest 
fled from the barracks. Another such attack on 
the opposite side would have annihilated them. 
Wysocki, with his one-hundred and sixty com- 
panions, finding it expedient to quit the barracks, 
took position at the bridge, in order to await there 
the arrival of the before-mentioned companies. 
The enemy, however, recovered from their first 
surprise, and ashamed of having been expelled from 
the fortified barracks by a handful of young men, 
prepared to avenge their defeat. The cuirassiers had 
already occupied the road leading to the city, in 
order to cut off Wysocki's retreat, but without losing 
a moment he attacked them so sharply with the 
bayonet that they could not resist. The regiment 
of lancers, whiph had marched upon the ensigns 
threatening to cut them to pieces, also fled before 



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RETREAT TO THE CITY. 117 

their bayonets, as did a hussar regiment, which had 
advanced on the rear of the young warriors. These 
at length reached the barracks of Radziwill, where 
Wysocki endeavoured to occupy the three cavalry 
regiments as long as possible, to prevent them from 
paralyzing the insurrection within the city ; but on 
hearing the cry of the standard-bearers, " the Russians 
" besiege us !" he abandoned his project. They 
were again compelled to attack the three regiments 
alternately, and were successful as before, the 
cavalry taking to flight in great disorder. After 
this extraordinary achievement, the young heroes 
marched unresisted into the city, through the New 
World-street. • Meeting with General Stanislaus 
Potocki, they entreated him to put himself at their 
head. On his refusal they allowed him to pass on, 
not being aware that it was he who had sent to Con- 
stantine the six companies of infantry, and thus 
endangered the success of the insurrection*. As 
deep a stillness prevailed in the city as though 
nothing had occurred; the very houses seemed 
asleep ; the brave youths began to suspect that they 

* He was afterwards killed by the people, for continuing to act 
against the insurrection; he was not actuated by a want of 
pfitriotism, for he had ever proved a staunch PoUsh patriot ; but 
unacquainted, like all field-officers and generals, either with the 
object or extent of the movement, by the early damping of it 
he hoped to deserve well of the country. He is said yet to have 
thought the insurrection to be that false revolution spoken of in 
the foregoing chapter. 



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118 DEATH OF TREMBICKI. 

had risen alone. To break the appalling silence they 
shouted again and again, "to anns !" In vain, despair 
was already creeping into their hearts. Would death 
alone rouse the capital ? must blood stain their virgin 
laurels ? Some steps further they met their com- 
mander, General Trembicki, oneof Constantine's aide- 
de-camps, and him they entreated, as they had done 
Potocki, to lead them on. He reprimanded them, and 
advised them to submit to the Grand Duke's mercy. 
Professing their respect for his military acquire- 
ments, they still urged their request ; and on his 
persisting in his refusal, forced him to join them. 
Trembicki, a haughty man, reluctantly accompanied 
them, still continuing his reprimands, when they 
unexpectedly came upon three Polish generals, 
avowed partisans of Russia, who were immediatdy 
stretched dead. Once more they addressed Trem- 
bicki, " General, you have witnessed the fate of 
" traitors, we conjureyou to join the nation." He 
still answered, with perfect coolness, " No, I will not 
" command you j you are wretches — ^you are mur- 
" derers." They were still unwilling to part with 
their tutor, and again telling him, " We allow you 
" time for reflection," they conducted him through 
two long streets, and paused at the Bielanska-street. 
He then resolutely said, " You may take away my 
life, but cannot force me to break my oath of alle- 
giance." He fell, and would have deserved a better 
fete, had not his heroism been that of a slave. // 
No part of the concerted plan was realize in the 



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THE ARSENAL. 110 

southern part of Warsaw. The first alarm over, 
Constantine rallied his cavalry at the Belvedere, and 
his forces were increased by the Polish regiment of 
horse chasseurs, brought him by his aide-de-camp 
Trembicki, brother of him who was shot, and by 
Potocki's six companies of infantry. This general 
had also given up to him four Polish cannon, which 
were to have been fired sub alarm guns from the 
Radziwill barrack. 

Owing to the untimely signal at Solec, the insur- 
gents at the north end succeeded no better in dis- 
anning the enemy. They did not begin to move 
till half past seven o'clock, and the Russian troops, 
forewarned by Constantine*s messengers, were under 
aarms even before the Palish. The latter had 
still to combat the opposition of the field officers 
(none of whom had been initiated into the con- 
spiracy), before they could leave their barracks. 
The disarming of the Russians, an easy task 
within the barracks, proved impracticable with- 
out. Detachments of Polish troops immediately 
occupied the two bridges across the Vistula, and 
the city of Praga, in which were warlike stores. 
Some tcompanies marched straight to the arsenal, 
situated in the middle of the city, whither also a 
regiment of Russian infantry was hastening. A 
contest ensued, and tiie Russians fled with the loss 
of some men. During these transactions two officers 
harried to the Theatre des Varietes. Drawing their 
swx)rds9 tliey called out, " Poles ! You are amusing 



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120 THE ARSENAL. 

" yourselves, whilst the Muscovites murder us; 
" To arms ! " In a moment the theatre was tumul- 
tuously cleared. Many Russian generals then made 
their escape. 

Whilst this was passing in the theatre, some 
patriots endeavoured to insurrectionize the populace 
in the old town, the classic ground of former insur- 
rections. Large groups collected at their appeal ; 
but no sooner did the report of firing at the arsenal 
reach their ears, than they dispersed. Nothing 
more timid than an unarmed mob, generally, drawn 
together at first only by curiosity. When the alarm 
had subsided, the few agitators again attempted to 
stir up the people, and this time they succeeded 
in bringing vast multitudes to the arsenal. The 
ensigns, the artillery pupils, the army of the line, 
and an immense concourse of persons now thronged 
in the vicinity of the arsenal. The insurgents 
having entirely failed in the execution of their 
plan, and now inferior to their enemies in number, 
thought it advisable to arm the people, who, 
according to the original design, were only to 
have sanctioned by their presence the great national 
act. Thirty thousand muskets were taken from 
the arsenal and distributed among the multitudes 
present, who were harangued by several prisoners 
of state, just released, after a captivity of many 
years. Some had actually died on being brought 
into the light, owing to their long confinement in 
dark and airless dungeons The suffering-marked 



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THE PEOPLE ARMED. 121 

countenances of others were, in their very silence, 
eloquent enough to have stirred the stones to 
mutiny. The armed multitudes dispersed through- 
out the city, firing volleys in the air, and uttering 
fihouts of joy, but abstained from all excess. The 
insurgents instinctively assembled at the arsenal, as 
being a position commanding all the principal streets. 
But without a leader, they knew not how to set 
about any act of aggression, although all were 
animated by an admirable .unity of purpose. Where 
many command, defensive measures are more 
easily agreed upon, and the insurgents resolved 
to remain in their present position, at all events 
until the next morning, and sent detachments to se- 
cure the Bank, and other public edifices. About 
midnight they advanced as far as the square of 
Saxony, where the fight with the horse chasseurs 
still continued. 

On being informed of the distribution of arms 
to the people, the command of Constantine to his 
generals was, " Messieurs^ pas un coup de ftisiV 
The recent example of the July revolution in Paris, 
had, perhaps, impressed him with some respect for 
the population of Warsaw; or, by allowing only 
the horse chasseurs to harass the Poles, he, perhaps, 
hoped to plunge them into civil discord, which might 
turn to his advantage. Whatever was the motive 
of his indecision, it was at least the cause that the 
insurrection survived the night. 

The insurgents did not immediately proceed to 



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122 NEW GOVERJUMEMT. 

establish a government of their own, nor did they 
make known by any printed document the object 
of their insurrection. Peter Wysocki too, the 
chief of the conspiracy, was not to be persuaded 
tliat the insurrection ought to have had a govern- 
ment of its own fiom the very beginning. Lelewel, 
who was initiated into the conspiracy, had in- 
deed been charged some days previously with 
the choice of members to form an insurrectionary 
government; but the death of his father, on the 
very 29th of November, it is said, prevented him 
from executing the task. By these acddente the 
insurrection first appeared without a head, presenting 
itself only in the form of a mere military liot,. or, 
which was still worse, of civil strife. Much, there- 
fore, had been done to send nmny an individual to 
the scaffold, much to ^itail calamity on the country, 
and nothing to burst her bondage. On the other 
side, a powerful government still existed unharmed, 
and supported by a nunokerous cast of employes, 
grown fat upon the oppression of the nation, — ^by 
20,000 GOTman, Greek, French, or English fortune- 
hunters, and 30,000 Jews, those powerful instruments 
of the foreign tyranny, now threatened with dis- 
solution. AH these formed a great mass hostile 
to the insurrection—backed by C!onslantine, and by 
the immensity of vengeance which he impersonated 
in the name of him who sways from Kamczatka 
to the Vistula. The common people alone fra- 
ternized with die in8urgents,---*but what dependance 



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NEW GOVERNMENT. 12S 

can be placed on that most variable element? 
All the others shut up their houses on the first 
alarm, and the capital wore the appearance of a 
besieged city at the moment of assault. 

Some individuals only, influential by their riches, 
ability, and personal merit; patriots grown grey in 
resisting the foreign yoke, and in teaching the young 
to resist it, yet unwilling to lose, by imprudence, all 
that was still worth preserving, came forward at this 
portentous moment, as mediators between Constan- 
tine and the military rioters, and for the country at 
large. Whilst the lieutenant Wysocki raised the 
standard of Poland's liberty, another. Count Ladis- 
laus Zamoyski, one of Constantine's ^ide-de-camps, 
caused a new government to be organized. He acci- 
dentally heard of the attack on the Belvedere from a 
Russian officer, and, by his advice, was proceeding to 
Constantine, when he met Potocki. This latter en- 
joined Zamoyski to tell the Grand Duke that the in- 
surrection could be put down only by the Russian 
cavalry, as the Polish troops were not to be depended 
upon. On hearing this, Constantine shrugged his 
shoulders, and exclaimed sorrowfully, " I have now 
no army," although, at that moment, he was sur- 
rounded by many squadrons of fine cavalry, a glance 
at whom, was Zamoyski's only answer* " They are 
" Russians," observed Constantine, " and I wish not 
*** to mix in what has been done by the Poles. Je 
" ne m^en mele pas," he continued, ** que les Polo- 
" nais s'arrangent ; c'est leur affaire ; on verra main- 



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124 NEW GOVERNMENT. 

" tenant s'ils sont dignes des bienfaits qu'ils ont 
re^u, et si je n'ai pas eu toujours raison de les 
traiter en rebelles.^^ In the words *^ que les Po- 
\ " lonais s'arrangent/* Zamoyski at once perceived 
the security of the insurrection. It was now accom- 
plished, since Constantine made no opposition to it. 
With this important intelligence, he hastened to his 
\ uncle Prince Czartoryski, and, representing to him that 
) a man of his influence ought not to remain neutral 
J in a civil war, urged him to try whether a proclama- 
tion issued in his own name, joined with that of 
the administrative council, would not bring the Poles 
, to unity and concord. The prince, in consequence, 
I convened the Council, of which he was an honorary 
I member, and sent Zamoyski to summon the others. 
Prince Lubecki, on the other hand, when apprised 
that the insurrection was without a head, perceived 
the unpardonable blunder, and as quickly resolved 
to avail himself of it, to crush all further proceed- 
ings i and, with this view, he also summoned the 
Administrative Council. Besides the ministers, the 
following distinguished patriots attended: — ^Prince 
Czartoryski, Prince Radziwill, General Count 
Pac, the Senator Castellan Kochanowski, and the 
venerable Niemcewicz, the most popular poet of 
the nation, and secretary to the senate. Zamoyski, 
at the request of Prince Lubecki, dictated the 
words, " que les Polonais s'arrangent," as an in- 
troduction to the sitting; adding, at the same 
time, that the Council might hear them from the 



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k- 



PROCLAMATION. 125 

Grand Duke himself. In consequence of this remark, 
Czartoryski and Lubecki were deputed to wait upon 
him. He received them bluntly, with " je n'autorise 
" rien — je ne me mele de rien — ^laissez-moi tran- 
" quille." — ^He then bitterly reproached Lubecki for 
his monopolies and fiscal extortions, and Prince 
Czartoryski for his exertions in the curatorship of 
Vilno, as the principal causes of the revolution, for- 
getting that he was himself its primary author. As 
nothing could shake his determination to remain 
neutral, Lubecki was compelled to make the follow- 
ing declaration — " Because you who possess the 
" power, and the right to use it, refuse to act, the 
" Council of Administration, being without means of 
" defence, is obliged to composer avec le mouvement 
** qui s^opere dans la viUe, in order to save the capital." 
On his return, Lubecki, between two and three 
o'clock in the morning, drew up an Act, by which the 
above-named patriots were appointed, in the name 
of the sovereign, members of the council ; with the 
addition of General Chlopicki, whose presence there 
Lubecki deemed indispensable on this extraordinary 
occasion. The reformed council then drew up the 
following proclamation: — " Poles! the events of 
" last night, as deplorable as unexpected, have 
*^ compelled the government to ai^sociate with 
" deserving patriots, and to make this appeal to 
" you. His Highness, the Grand Duke Con- 
" stantine, has prohibited the Russian troops from 
" all interference, as the dissensions amongst the 



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/ 

1 

126 PROCLAMATION. 

" Poles ought to be adjusted only by Poles. Shall 
** the Pole embrue his hand in his brother's blood? 
^* Will you afford the world the spectacle of the 
" greatest of all misfortunes — that of domestic (Jis- 
" cord ? It is by your own only that you can avoid 
" plunging into the abyss upon the brink of which 
" you are now standing. Restore, therefore, order 
** and tranquillity — let all animosities vanish with 
** the night that veiled them. Guard the future 
" fate of our beloved and woe-stricken fatherland — 
" remove even the shadow of whatever may endanger 
" it. It will be our part to care for the general 
" safety, the national laws, and our constitutional 
*' liberty." Since the celebrated trial, by the High 
Court, the patriotism of Lubecki had never been 
questioned. The new members, therefore, who 
dreaded civil anarchy, unhesitatingly signed the pro- 
clamation, as a means of promoting general unani- 
mity, excepting General Chlopicki, who was no- 
where to be found. When the cry " to arms" 
struck upon his ear at the Theatre des Varietes, 
he hurried away to conceal himself in a friend's 
house, apprehensive that the iqsurgents would 
drag him from his own residence, and compel 
him to place himself at their head. From the 
very beginning the hopes of all were fixed upon 
him. The soldiers and the people required to be 
told that Chlopicki would command them, in order 
to persuade them to remain under arms. Loud 
cheers welcomed the wished-for chief, whom they 



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THE ACADEMICAL GARDE d'HONNEUR. 127 

fancied they beheld in every horseman that galloped , 
through the streets ; but the night passed away, and 
still had not made his appearance. The magic 
influence of his name was, however, alone sufficient 
to keep the soldiery at their posts, until the dawn 
of day. 

In the morning of the 30th, the capital beheld 
the novel spectacle of a hated government, owing its 
preservation solely to the love and confidence felt by 
the people towards a few conciliatory patriots, who 
lent it their support ; and of a military insurrection 
concentrated at the arsenal, and scarcely visible else- 
where:-— but the success of such events is often 
in their very nature. The dawn showed to 
the dispirited insurgents a thousand youths of the 
University, who had taken arms under Lach Szyrma, 
their beloved professor of moral philosophy. In 
answer to the delenda Carthago of the merciless 
Novosilzoff, he had been accustomed to sound in 
their ears. Hie mantis oh patriam; and the bold 
watchword, not less than the affection he inspired, 
secured their ready co-operation. At his call they 
flocked to his standard, formed themselves into a 
legion, called the " garde d'honneur," elected him 
their chief, and decided the fate of the insurrection. 
Their numbers gave fresh courage to the army, and 
their moral character convinced the government 
that the afiaar was national. In fact, these youths, 
sons of the most distinguished families, in some 
degree represented the nation, and compelled the 
country to espouse the cause. They rushed forward, 



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128 THE ENEMY REPULSED. 

tore down the Russian emblazonments, and then 
dispersed over the capital, collecting vast numbers 
of followers, whom they conducted to the square of 
Saxony, and the avenue of Cracow, at which places 
the fighting with the horse chasseurs had continued, 
without interruption, since day-break. 

About eight o'clock some companies of Polish 
infantry, with two cannon, advanced, and re- 
pulsed the chasseurs so effectually, that the latter 
remained quiet during the whole day. The insur- 
gents then raised a barricade in the avenue, near 
which a scandalous scene soon afterwards occurred. 
The populace flocking from Solec, aided by some 
sappers, attacked a house containing Russian stores, 
and four millions of roubles, which they pillaged 
together with several private habitations. An officer, 
who opposed their violence, was murdered, and 
much civil bloodshed would have followed, but for 
the timely arrival of more officers, who killed some 
of the ringleaders on the spot, and indemnified the 
individuals who had been plundered, with the re- 
mainder of the Russian money. About ten o'clock 
a Russian infantry regiment, posted in the Grande 
Place d'Armes, at the north end of the city, marched 
against the insurgents at the arsenal, but were so 
vigorously repulsed, that they fled in disorder to their 
former position. In the same square was stationed 
a battalion of grenadier life guards, who, by the 
ill advice of General Zymirski, would neither act 
against the insurgents, nor yet join with them. The 
Russians made no further attack that day ; but the 



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^^^v^ ^•^"'^" ■^'''^! '^ ".'- ' -->''- ' c/^^^^' 

lCxV^\»^V ^*^ THE LAND CREfblT COMPANY. 129 

insurgents neglected the opportunity for deliberation 
afforded them by this respite, and came to no reso^ 
lution whether to act on the offensive, to acquaint 
the government with their object, or to assume a self 
constituted authority. The houses were still closed, 
and the troops without food; but the officers re- 
mained the whole time at their posts, and encouraged 
the soldiers to follow their example, by assurances 
that General Chlopicki would not fail to accept the 
command. 
/ Early in the morning, the committee of national 
/ credit issued a proclamation, placing public property 

/ under the guardianship of the people and army. 

I This confidence pleased the multitude assembled 
round the Bank. " No injury shall be done,^' they 
shouted ; " we desire only to beat the Muscovites." 
A second official document was the order of council, 
by which the before-named patriots were appointed 
its members. It had the good effect of arresting 
further bloodshed amongst the toles collected in 
the avenue of Cracow. Its beneficial influence, 
however, might have been greatly counteracted by 
the proclamation of the council inviting the insur- 
gents to return to order. Fortunately, the people, 
dazzled by the patriot signatures attached to it, 
received it without suspecting its tendency. A few 
conspirators alone understood its import, trembled 
for a moment, then trod it under foot. But their 
attention was soon imperiously demanded elsewhere. 
The people had assembled by thousands round the 

K 



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130 COUNCIL AT THE BANK. 

vice-regal palace, where the Administrative Council 
had been sitting since midnight, and interrupted the 
deliberations by their incessant shouts of " Long live 
" General Chlopicki." Niemcewicz appeared in the 
balcony, and endeavoured to pacify the restless multi- 
tude, by assuring thera that " the council had or- 
" dered diligent search to be made after him ; but 
^' that he had disappeared like a stone in the water." 
Meanwhile Pac was appointed generalissimo for the 
next twenty-four hours. Lubecki then resolved to 
place the council more out of reach of the people by 
transferring its sittings to the Bank, under the plea 
of securing that building. A military escort having 
arrived. General Pac led the way, w^earing the red 
cap of liberty, and, followed by the chief of his 
staff. Colonel Vonsowicz, carrying a cartridge box 
preserved since the time of Napoleon, with a nume- 
rous suite of aide-de-camps, together with all the 
members of the council. Tlie procession was so 
much increased by the accompanying crowd, that it 
extended two miles in length. The march was very 
slow, as the aged Niemcewicz could not proceed at 
a quick pace. The people knew not how sufficiently 
to express their satisfaction at the sight of the poet, 
the most ancient of the surviving patriots, the com- 
panion of Kosciuszko both m his glory and captivity. 
" All must go well, since the venerable Niemcewicz 
" is there," again and again they exultingly ex- 
claimed. Such is the influence of old age, crowning 
a life spent in virtuous struggles. The procession. 



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p ^^^ ^C^LOPICKl COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. J3l 

^ contrary to the wislPof Lubecki, only served to ex- 
/ cite the popular enthusiasm for the insurrection, and 
I to revolutionize the government itself. In the even- 
ing, the council, at the suggestion of Gustave 
Malachowski, decreed that a national guard should 
be formed. Lubecki, however, prevailed on the coun- 
cil to change this revolutionary title, for that of guard 
of safety, as the latter might be excused at St. 
Petersburgh upon the simple ground of the protec- 
tion of private property. A new President of 
Municipality, the deserving patriot Vengrzecki, 
was also appointed. On the same evening, the gallant 
general, Sierawski, arrived in Warsaw, and at once 
joined the insurrection. The council offered him the 
command of the troops, but he refused it, saying 
that Poland possessed another warrior more adapted 
to the greatness of existing circumstances. He was 
then named military governoi: of Warsaw, and by his 
zeal and courage raised the spirit of the insurgents. 
At length the long expected Chlopicki presented 
himself this night at the Bank. He accepted the 
Qommand of the army, but only in the name of the 
/yE^vereign, and not in that of the insurrection. His 
^*^^^^^/^\fi^ act was to issue an order that all detachments 
t'^^J^ of troops should remain at their posts. His name 
K^ j'^ electrified the soldiers, and they considered this order 
H^^ uf^^ sanctioning what they had done. 
. ^' Meantime the Grand Duke, ever aoeustomed to be 

informed of every thing, even down to the meanest 
gossip, felt much perplexed by his ignorance of what 



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132 ZAMOYSKI AND 

was passing in the city. Except Zamoyski, most of 
bis aide-de-camps had been either killed or made pri- 
soners, and the others dared not enter the town. Even 
Zamoyski would no longer serve him in his former 
capacity. He declared to the Grand Duke that his 
honour commanded him to join his countrymen, and 
that he would not go to the city in any other cha- 
racter than that of a true Pole. Curiosity prevailed, 
and Constantine consented that Zamoyski should 
entertain what sentiments he pleased, provided he 
furnished him with news. Zamoyski, a statesman 
by nature, possessing profound judgment and 
prompt decision, used to go after news and return 
with proposals. He had already established unity 
amongst the Poles; he now wished to reconcile 
them to the Duke. Although he had no hope of 
success in the event of a contest with Russia, he still 
thought that the insurrection ought not to terminate 
without procuring important concessions to the 
nation. He therefore requested the Prussian Consul 
Schmidt, who was on intimate terms with Constan- 
tine, to inform the latter that the men then in 
power might be able to avert the coming storm, 
provided he would authorise them to ensure to 
the nation certain benefits of great importance ; but 
that otherwise the insurrection would shortly swell 
into a torrent, which would baffle every effort to 
preserve the kitogdom to the emperor. The word 
" independence alone," continued Zamoyski, " pro- 
** nounced by the Grand Duke, can now become 



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THE CZ ARE WITCH. 133 

" a principle on which the Council of Administra- 
" tion can continue to rule the insurrection." 
On this proposition being communicated to Con- 
stantine, he desired that he might hear it from 
Zamoyski himself. An interesting discussion 
ensued. The young Pole, in guarded phrase, told 
harsh truths to the brother of the most powerful 
monarch in the world. He said that the general 
indignation (against Constantine) was overwhelming 
— ^that it had given birth to the insurrection, which, 
owing to his inactivity, had now become so power- 
ful that it was impossible to arrest its progress. 
Alluding to the men in power, Zamoyski observed, 
that " Their popularity was great, and their cha- 
" racters noble — they were wise statesmen, and not 
'' guided by any exclusive passion. All now de- 
" pended on securing the authority to them, for 
" should the revolutionary whirlwind disperse these, 
" the Grand Duke would soon behold in their place, 
" men whose names were now totally unknown to 
'' him, and whose exaltation would bring affairs to a 
" state of absolute collision." "Eh Men!— que 
" voulez-vous done que j'autorise?" interrupted 
Constantine. " Assure the council, Monseigneur," 
urged Zamoyski, "that you believe the measures pur- 
" sued by its members are the result of circumstances, 
" and that they do not emanate from their volun- 
" tary participation in the movement; and that you 
" are aware that it has now become indispensable to 
" proclaim the independence." Although Con- 



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134 ZAMOYSKI AND 

stantine had already heard the same from the 
Prussian Consul, these words irritated him to fury. 
" Comment ? vous osez m'insulter aussi ! *' he 
cried, with a countenance distorted with wrath. 
Zamoyski, who had often exposed his life for him, 
and who knew that it was in his character to shrink 
before moral superiority, replied with dignity, 
" Vous voila, Monseigneur, vous mefiant toujours 
" des gens de bien, et ne donnant votre confiance 
" qu'Jt ceux qui ne le m^ritent pas.*' The reproof, 
as he had often heard it before from Alexander and 
others, calmed him. He requested Zamoyski to 
explain the word " independence." The latter 

' assured him that it did not imply disobedience— 
that it signified only the resolution of the nation 
to assume the direction of its own affairs. It had 
been so explained by Alexander himself and the 

' High National Court. The nation would now un- 
derstand no other word. Constantine kept repeating 
— " C'est la guerre — c'est la revolution," and dis- 
missed Zamoyski with, " Allez en ville et vite; 
" et faites ce que vous voudrez, mais rien en mon 
" nom — je ne vous autorise k rien." 

Zamoyski, knowing that Constantine might be 
frightened into sanctioning whatever the govern- 
ment should deem expedient, urged on the council 
the adoption of his ingenious measure, which he 
represented as the only means of protracting its 
existence. Lubecki denied this. He even con- 
sidered Buch a measure calculated to produce war 



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LUBECKI. 135 

with Russia. He was still nothing more than a 
Russian minister^ when he said^ ^* that in case of 
** war with Poland, the emperor would make both 
** his hands bleed." 
V, «^^ Jt On the 1st of December, a number of the mem- 
>f c ' ^^^^ the Diet sent a deputation to the govern- 

^^ j(' flt^^H^^*' stating that the government was not suffi- 
.^-^ \ A^iGiiy^ revolutionary in its proceedings, — ^that some 
«^ ^ A>**^ ^^ members did not possess the confidence of 
^. o^.^^^'tiie nation, — and demanded that both chambers of the 
^r^ '*'^ 3;^iet should be convoked, and that some of the depu- 
ty^ ^H^ ties should be admitted into the Administrative 
>""'" Council. The latter request was immediately com- 

plied with, and the senator Castellan Dembowski, the 
deputies Count Ladislaus Ostrowski, Count Gustave 
Malachowski, and Joachim Lelewel, were received 
into it as members. The council, however, ex- 
pressed its astonishment on learning that Prince 
vLubecki had been pointed out as not possessing the 
piational confidence. He oflTered to resign ; but, on 
/the declaration of his new colleagues, that they 
would in that case follow his example, he renounced 
his intention. They still believed in his patriotism. 
The council then determined upon forming an 
executive committee, wholly composed ofnewmem^- 
bers, in order to meet the pressing difficulties with 
fitting energy ; and Chlopicki was enjoined to sum- 
mon the various corps for the protection of the 
capital, in case of an invasion being attempted by 
Constantine. 



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136 THE MALCONTENTS. 

Still the government, though composed of the 
most distinguished patriots, and even with one con^ 
spirator, Lelewel, amongst them, was far from satisfy- 
ing some of the leaders of the insurrection. Their 

. principal objection against it was its mediative cha- 
racter, and its continuing to act in the name of the 

V sovereign. On the other hand, the prospects of the in- 
surrection became clouded. Constantine had stationed 
himself at the barrier of Mokotow, with his united 
forces, reinforced by twenty-four pieces of artillery 
brought from Skierniewice, and by thus intercepting 
their communication with the surrounding country, 
kept the insurgents imprisoned in the streets of War- 
saw. These and similar considerations produced a vio- 
lent reaction in the minds of some of the conspirators. 
Too late, they perceived their error in not having at 
once established an insurrectionary government, and 
in order to find a remedy for this radical evil, and 
to do away with the Administrative Council they 
assembled late in the evening at the Hall* of Munici- 
pality. Their warlike appearance at such an un- 
usual hour displeased the old president Vengrzecki. 
'* What brings you here?" he loudly demanded. — 
In a yet louder tone, the rash, but highly gifted 
youth, Maurice Mochnacki, replied, — " The conduct 
" of the government, which, by continuing to act in 
" the name of Nicholas, compels all true patriots to 
" combine in endeavouring to avert the dangers 
** which threaten the national cause." " In the 
'^ council sit men possessing the national confidence," 



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/ 



THE PATRIOTIC CLUB. 137 

rejoined Vengrzecki, " you come here to propa- 
" gate dissension, whilst we need union." — *'Yes, 
" those men are honest patriots," resumed Moch- 
nacki> " men as well deserving of their country as 
" yourself, butweak old men who allow themselves to 
" be betrayed by the partisans of Russia, and so mis- 
<' lead the nation that trusts them." At this insult to 
old age Vengrzecki burst into tears. They then formed 
themselves into a society, to which they gave the 
name of the Patriotic Club ; elected Lelewel, though 
absent, their president, and X^tVieTBrokowski vice- 
president ; and appointed their next meeting to take 
place in the assembly rooms, close to the Royal 
Theatre. 

On the 2nd of December, the Grand Duke desired 
an interview with a deputation from the council ; 
Prince Czartoryski, Prince Lubecki, Ladislaus Os- 
trowski, and Lelewel, were in consequence appointed 
to attend him. No sooner was this known in the city, 
than thousands gathered round the Bank, and en- 
deavoured to stop their carriage. Preceded by 
Zamoyski on horseback, they advanced with great 
difficulty. On reaching Constantine's quarters, 
Zamoyski, wishing to impress him favourably in their 
behalf, told him, that '^ their lives had been en* 
" dangered, that they could not give the throne a 
** greater proof of their loyalty." " II nefaut pas faire 
" attendre ces messieurs Ladislaus," replied the 
Czarewitch with unwonted mildness. " Without any 



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138 INTERVIEW WITH THE CZAREWITCH. 

" previous parley," so writes Lelewel, "or any escort, 
" delegates passed through the Russian troops, 
" and were admitted into the presence of Constan- 
'* tine. After a night spent in the open air, under 
" the trees, a small room in an inn was now the 
" refuge of the Grand Duke and Duchess. It had 
" but one small window, and was furnished with 
" a bed, a mock sofa, a small table, and a chair. 
" On the table were two plates, for it was three 
" o'clock in the afternoon, and their hour of dining. 
" The chamber was so filled by the delegates, 
" that there was scarcely room to move. — It is 
" difficult to say, whether the tyrant receiving 
" them in this situation, or their presence in 
" his camp, was most to be marvelled at." The con- 
ference lasted five hours. Constantine's first ques- 
tion was, " What would satisfy the people ?" — The 
Russian troops being marched into Russia, replied 
Ostrowski. What am I to do ? Shall I go or stay ? 
was the next question. Lubecki advised him to stay. 
Prince Czartoryski was about to make some observa- 
tions on this point, when Constantine requested him 
to say simply yes or no, '^ oui ou non." It was then 
formally put to the vote. Both Princes voted for 
his remaining, but Ostrowski and Lelewel opposed 
it, and Constantine followed their advice. The 
delegates next represented that the reunion of 
the sister countries was a sine qua non for pacifi- 
cation. Constantine was pleased to hear this, as it 



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INTERVIEW WITH THE CZAREWITCH. 139 

furnished a pretext for saying that not his oppressive 
administration, but the desire of the Poles to act as 
an independent nation had caused the revolt : he, 
therefore, adopted the proposition with much warmth. 
" Ilfaudrait qu'un Polonais futun juif pour nepas 
" demander la reunion des provinces ; et vous savez 
*^ que depuis long-tems je la demande moi-m^me," 
said he. He also promised not to attack Warsaw ; 
and in case of his being ordered to do so, to give 
forty-eight hours previous notice of it to the council, 
and insisted upon similar terms on the part of the 
Poles. Ostro wski declared such reciprocity of terms to 
be impossible, as no one could be answerable for the 
results of popular excitement. Finally, Constantine 
introduced the subject of amnesty, which he offered 
to procure to those who would confess their errors. 
The delegates replied with one voice, tfiat such an 
amnesty would be a mockery. The Grand Duke 
then emphatically observed, that when he called 
crimes, ei-rors, he showed the greatest possible 
indulgence towards the guilty. " There ieu-e no 
*' guilty," retorted Ostrowski, pointing to his sword . 
and this apostrophe, added to the intelligence that a 
revolutionary club had been formed under the presi- 
dency of Lelewel, had such an effect upon Constan- 
tine, that he entered into a solemn engagement to do 
\ his utmost to procure an act of general clemency. 
^Meantime a storm was gathering in the city which 
threatened the government. The leaders of the 
Patriotic Club had succeeded in collecting about a 



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140 THE CLUBBIST8. 

thousand persons, military and civil, with whom the 
assembly rooms had been crowded since two o'clock, 
whilst multitudes of armed persons gathered around. 
Towards night the sitting commenced. A few 
dim lamps scattered through the vast chambers, 
scarcely served to render visible the corpse-pale 
countenances of the conspirators, exhausted by a 
protracted vigil, by toil and anxiety. They were 
all armed, and looked like the phantoms of a dream. 
r . <' / /'^A table served for the tribune. Bronikowski presided 
; ' amidst deep silence. Mochnacki mounted the .table : 
. . ' ''his speech was violent, and full of invectives against 
the moderation of the government. Each word 
uttered against tyranny, against the omnipptent 
Czar, before whom all from the Neva to the Vistula 
trembled, was deemedan actof heroism, and welcomed 
by tremendous cheers, by grounding muskets, and 
clashing swords. The principal theme of Moch- 
nacki's discourse was the necessity of disarming the 
Russian troops, and making Constantine prisoner. ^^ 
The deliberation was short, and the following resolu- 
tions were passed. 

1st. That General Chlopicki should attack the 
enemy ; 2nd. The insurrection should be organized 
throughout the country ; 3rd. All the ministers 
should be placed under arrest till further arrangements 
could be made ; 4th. The wives of Russian officers 
should be prohibited from corresponding with their 
husbands; 6th. Negotiations should be opened only 
with St. Petersburgh, and that Constantine should 



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THE CLUBBISTS. 141 

guarantee them ; 6th. That commanding officers of 
Polish troops, who had not yet joined the insurrec- 
tion, should be declared guilty of high treason, with 
the reserve, however, that General Chlopicki should 
first inform them ofthis decision with the least possible 
delay ; 7th. In case of these resolutions not being 
at once carried into effect, the government should 
accept as its members such persons as the club should 
designate. A deputation of twelve, with Bronikow- 
ski at their head, then proceeded with them to the 
Bank, followed by the armed multitude. It was then 
nine o'clock, and the other deputation had just 
returned from Constantine. The delegates of the 
club had to wait a full hour before they were admitted 
into the council. They entered with their muskets. 
Some of the members were filled with consternation, 
others were indignant, and Lelewel gnashed his teeth 
with vexation at the conduct of the clubbists, by 
which he, as their president, was compromised in the 
opinion of his colleagues. Prince Czartoryski first 
interrupted the general silence, and replied with his 
usual mildness to the communications then made by 
the delegates, observing that some of the measures 
proposed by them, such as the arrest of Constantine, 
were no longer practicable, in consequence of the 
convention just concluded. Mochnacki, in whose 
opinion this convention was highly dishonourable^ 
and who thought that Constantine ought to be made 
to beg on his knees for mercy, exclaimed, shaking his 
musket : "Prince, you are jesting ; we rose to deliver 



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l^ 



142 THE CLUBBISTS. 

" Poland^ not to accept conditions from the Grand 
" Duke, who is a prisoner of the insurrection. Let 
'* the government no longer persist in acting this 
" comedy, which may terminate tragically either for 
" the insurrection, or its enemies and doubtful par^ 
** tisans," alluding to Lubecki. His address excited 
the indignation of all the members. Chlopicki left 
the hall in a fury, Malachowski and Prince Radziwill 
tendered their resignation ; Lelewel was silent. The 
venerable Niemcewicz bared his breast, exclaiming, 
*' Strike this heart, which has ever beat for the 
" fatherland ; murder us, since you come here with 
" arms, since you mistrust conscience and honourable 
" old age." Prince Czartoryski and Ostrowski alone 
endeavoured to appease the clubbists, promising to 
take their proposals into consideration. So ended 
this Jacobinical orgie, as the visit of the clubbists to 
the Bank has since been stigmatized. ' 

About three o'clock in the morning. General 
Szembek arrived in Warsaw with one regiment of 
the line, nor could the threats or the prayers of the 
Grand Duke avail against his ardour to join the 
insurgents. In two days, he had marched seventy 
miles, sending invitations on his way to other 
generals to follow his example, and was now con- 
ducted triumphantly into the city by Colonel Eacki, 
and the ever-watchful youths of the University. 
Chlopicki too went out to meet him. The presence 
of this general acted, as it invariably did, like magic 
on the soldiers. They greeted him again and again. 



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THE CLUBBISTS. 143 

with long, loud, hearty cheers, *' Long live Chlo- 
" picki! Long live the Fatherland!" Szembek 
hastened to tender his allegiance to the Government. 
" I have done my duty as a Pole, and as a soldier, I 
" come to unite with you — ^I am ready with my 
" soldiers to shed my blood for Poland." He was 
believed, for there is a proverb, " Trust Szembek, 
" he will not betray you." The tumult roused 
the citizens, as well as the clubbists, who, impatient 
to learn the result of their proposals to the Govern- 
ment, met before day-break, in the hope that, after 
their late proceeding, Lelewel would join them in 
seizing the reins of power. He now appeared 
amongst them for the first time, but his very first 
words were a death-blow to the hopes they had 
conceived of him ; for he counselled moderation. 
Lelewel is not a man of action. A great revolu- 
tionary crisis does not warm his blood, nor inspire 
his soul, grown stagnant and withered by his long 
seclusion from all commerce, save that of old 
books. As events become colossal, he dwindles 
before them. His greatest talent is for conspiracy. 
During fifteen years, in which he had been a member 
of every secret society, he had contrived to avoid all 
persecution in consequence. Whilst professor at 
Vilno, he converted all the students into ardent 
patriots, implacable conspirators against the yoke 
of the stranger. The Lithuanian corps overflowed 
with his pupils. All his historical writings are but 
ingenious and masterly plots against tyranny, either 



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144 THE CLUBBISTS. 

real or imaginary. Born and grown old, under 
the suspended knout, Lelewel has a sort of Robe- 
spierrism in his character. He is never the first to 
give an opinion, but when others have manifested 
theirs he either keeps silence, or pronounces some 
words of manifold meaning, often unintelligible, and 
thus seems to agree with his associates. This cau- 
tion is partly owing to his pretensions to infallibil- 
ity — which, rather than put to stake, he will abstain 
from speaking. True to his character, he now 
coquetted with the insurrection — was present in the 
council, and the club, was present everywhere, — ^that 
is, he was no where. The spirits of the club, damped 
by his ominous words, revived at the appearance of 
Szembek. Borne into the assembly in the arms of 
the members, he jumped upon the table, and repeated 
what he had said at the Bank : " I am only a soldier, 
" I know not how to speak, but I will shed, with 
*' my soldiers, the last drop of blood for the father- 
" land." The club-rooms proving too small to 
contain such an immense concourse, the assembly 
went into the open air. Szembek, addressing the 
people from a cart, assured them of the arival of 
his regiment, and was answered by the usual shouts, 
" Long live Szembek ! Death to the Muscovites ! " 
Other individuals also spoke, and veteran warriors 
told of the battles fought for the fatherland, and of 
the hideousness of despotism, calling on Heaven to 
bear witness to their words. No message arriving 
from tlie government, some encouraged the crowd 



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THE CLUBBISTS. 145 

to proceed to the Bank. Great numbers were 
already on their way, when the appearance on the 
waggon of an aged warrior, dressed in furs, and wear- 
ing immense moustaches, arrested their attention. 
" Nothing will avail," cried Kuszel, " if we do 
" not march straight into Lithuania." These words 
spoken at random, but embodying the secret of 
Poland's existence, decided the people. The uni- 
versal cry, " Let us go to Lithuania! Let us 
" deliver our brethren!" rose to the sky, just as 
Ladislaus Ostrowski arrived with the decision of the 
government. The council, desirous of uniting all 
parties, had resolved to accept the following clubbists 
as members : Maurice Mochnacki, Xavier Broni- 
kowski, and Major Machnicki, and the resolution 
was immediately acted upon. 

Constantine, fearful lest the convention of the 
preceding day might not be ratified by the govern- 
ment, sent Zamoyski into Warsaw, to ascertain the 
state of affairs. On his way, he learnt that the 
Polish troops, still with Constantine, had determined 
to leave him, and join their insurgent brethren. 
He urged them to defer the execution of their pro- 
ject until he should bring them a solemn permission 
from Constantine to do so ; thinking, that should 
the insurrection prosper, it would then be time 
enough for the troops to declare themselves j and if 
not, that it would be best for the nation that the 
whole army should not be compromised. He found 
the government in great disorder, owing to the late 

L 



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146 ZAMOYSKI AND 

intrusion. Many were speaking at the same time. 
Lubecki took him aside, and gave him a letter, in- 
forming Constantine that the very idea of negocia- 
tions exposed the Council to great danger from the 
clubbists, and that no alternative remained for him 
but to fly, or surrender himself. Meanwhile thou- 
sands of armed citizens, excited by a report pur- 
posely spread by the clubbists, that Constantine was 
forcibly detaining the Polish troops, advauced, with 
Szembek's regiment, towards the Mokotow barrier. 
The immense crowds, by their mass and weight, 
actually forced Chlopicki to move forward, who thus 
placed, for the first time, at the head of such an 
army, gnashed his teeth with impatience. Zamoyski, 
on meeting the procession, coiyured Chlopicki, if 
possible, still to delay the attack, again pledging 
himself to bring Constantine's permission for the 
Polish troops to join their brethren, or, in case of 
his refusing it, to return himself at their head. Chlo- 
picki allowed him half an hour for the purpose, 
avowing his inability to restrain the mob for a longer 
time. On Zamoyski presenting Lubecki's letter, 
Constantine was astonished to find that it had no 
signature*. " How is this ? " he exclaimed. — ^^ It 
** shows the state of the Council,*' replied Zamoyski, 
and eagerly urg^ him to dismiss the Polish troops, 

* Lubecki told afterwards Zamoyski, that he had purposely 
omitted signing it, as tlie letter would be deemed a crime, both by 
the club and the autocrat ; each party from its respective motives. 



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THE CZAREWITCH. 147 

in consideration of their loyalty and honourable 
conduct, as well as for his own personal safety." — 
" But what do they offer me in return?" asked 
/ Constantine. — " Nothing," said Zamoyski. — " You 
'* must fly, for every man and soldier in the city is 
" on the march to attack you. Nor does there 
" remain a moment for your escape beyond the time 
" it will take the people to welcome the troops." 
The Princess Lowicka reproved Zamoyski for urging 
her husband to a step of such responsibility.—" Son 
" honneur le lui defend," she added. — ^^ Son salut, 
" sa securite Texige," retorted Zamoyski. — ^At length 
/ Constantine pronounced these words — " Go, and say 
/ " that I permit them to join their comrades." The 
Princess enjoined Zamoyski not to use any words 
but those of permission only, as the Duke neither 
ordered nor authorised. Her subtle logic awakened 
anxiety in Constantine, lest Zamoyski should over- 
step his orders. He therefore wrote the following 
letter :— " Je permets aux troupes Polonaises, qui 
" sontrest^es fidelesjusqu*au dernier moment auprfes 
*^ de moi, de rejoindre les leurs. Je me mets en 
" marche avec les troupes imp^riales pour m'^loi- 
" gner de la capitale, et j'espere de la loyaute Polo- 
" naise qu'elles ne seront pas inquietees dans leur 
*^ mouvement pour rejoindre I'empire. Je recom- 
" mande dem^me tousles etablissements, proprietes, 
" et individus a la protection de la nation Polonaise, 
" et les mets sous la sauvegarde de la foi la plus 
" sacree." He then dismissed Zamoyski with " Je 



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l48 OBNOXIOUS GENERALS. 

" n'ai plus d'ordres k vous donner. Vous avez 
" des devoirs k remplir — adieu." Zamoyski hur- 
ried away with the letter, taking leave of the Russian 
officers, with " k revoir, Messieurs — peut-^tre sur 
" un champ de bataille." — ^But he did not find the 
troops. Without waiting for permission, they had 
already joined their brethren in the avenue of Cra- 
cow. The meeting was a striking scene. Shame 
and humiliation contrasted in the countenances of 
the chasseurs, with the heartfelt welcome of the 
people. Not a soul but came out to meet them. 
All the houses were opened for the first time since 
the insurrection. The lovely women of Warsaw, 
hitherto terror-struck, now waved their handkerchiefs 
from the windows ; the national standards, wreathed 
with evergreens, floated aloft in the streets. Citizens 
rushed amongst the troops, broke their ranks, and 
embraced the soldiers with tears of joy. Military 
music resounded through the city, amidst incessant 
cheers, and cries of " Long live the Polish army." 
These patriotic rejoicings had, however, nearly ended 
tragically. Two generals, Vincent Krasinski and 
Kurnatowski, who had charged the populace at the 
head of the chasseurs, had the temerity to return 
with them. The procession had already approached 
the Bank, when suddenly cries of " Death to the 
" traitors," arose on all sides. They were dragged 
from their horses, and many swords were pointed at 
their breasts. Chlopicki and Szembek, however, suc- 
ceeded in carrying them off to the Bank, but not in 



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LACH SZYRMA. 149 

h disarming the anger of the people. While these were 
^ preparing for the assault. Colonel Lach Szyrms^, with 
1 his academical legion, arrived, and entering, ^com* 
\ jpanied by two standard-bearers, the interior of the 
1 palace, appeared with the obnoxious generals on the 
I balcony, and the national flags unfurled on either 
I side. On his motioning to silence, the vociferation 
Iceased, and pointing with his sword to the national 
{emblems, he dictated aloud an oath of fidelity to 
[both generals, by which they swore to shed their 
[blood as private soldiers for the country. Their 
solemn declaration appeased the people, infuriated 
by their presence — that noble people who hold in 
horror " the French spirit" — ^namely, " emeute," and 
" civil blood-shed." The rejoicings of the day were 
protracted through the night. The city was illu- 
{ minated, and on many houses shone inscribed the 
well known lines of Mickiewicz, " Hail to thee, 
" Aurora of freedom! The sun of salvation will 
" follow thee." Itwas a scene of enchantment. Bon- 
fires were kindled in all the streets, around which the 
soldiers warmed themselves. Military music played, 
whilst groups of both sexes, singing the national 
songs, paraded the streets. Still more deeply inte- 
I resting was the spectacle of the academical legion, 
patrolling, when the rest retired, uttering, as their 
watchwords, the hallowed names of Poland, liberty, 
independence, Kosciuszko, Chlopicki, &c. 

Meantime the government was fast drawing to 
another revolution within itself. Maurice Mochnacki 



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y^ 




THE CLUBBISTS. 

ving declared his determination not to join it until 
Lubecki should be dismissed, the latter, in conse- 
quence, resigned. His example was imitated by all 
the other ministers. Thus the Council of Adminis- 
tration was dissolved de facto. Its new members, 
however, continued to attend to the most important 
and urgent points, delaying till the next day the 
organization of a new government. On the other 
hand, M ochnacki, overjoyed at the success of his au- 
dacity, confidently hoped to consummate the ruin of 
the present one. The club held a meeting that even- 
ing, which was numerously attended, but under aus- 
pices very different from those on former occasions. 
The return of the troops, and Constantine's flight, 
had removed all fear of the enemy, and all sus- 
picion of the patriots in power. Coijcord, unity, 
were the watchword, and woe to him who should 
dare to doubt. Mochnacki mistook the temper of 
the assembly, when he thus addressed them : — "Gen- 
** tlemen ! I bring you ill news. Your demands 
" have been ineffectual. It is true the Council is 
" dissolved, but I think the new government will 
" prove no better. The Czarewitch retires unmo- 
" lested. Men, acknowledged patriots do not arrest 
" his march. Friends of liberty have allied them- 
" selves with our enemies. Let us not trust men 
^^ for their historic names. Let us not trust in fame 
" or reputed merit. General Chlopicki does not 
" fulfil his duty." After a pause, occasioned by 
loud and general hisses, the speaker continued : — 



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THE CLUBBISTS. 161 

" Gentlemen ! Chlopicki betrays the insurrection. 
" I came here to announce that I have refused to 
" take any part in a government which hurls the 
^^ nation into the abyss of destruction. Let Ud 
" complete what we have begun. Let us go 
" again — let us all go with arms in our hands, and 
" proclaim a revolutionary power." At these words 
the indignation of the assembly burst forth. Threats 
of death were vociferated against Mochnacki from 
every quarter. Still he did not lose courage. Again 
jumping on the table, and shaking his musket, he 
strove to silence the hisses and clashing of arms, and 
to vindicate his treasonable words. But in vain. 
He was dragged down, and many sword{3 were 
pointed at his breast. Tranquillity being restored 
for a moment, the Vice-President, Bronikowski, who 
was al^o a member of the Council, was called upon 
to declare, upon his honour, whether the government 
acted in the Spirit of the insurrection. His answer 
decided Mochnacki's fate. All present rose against 
him, and he would have been cut to pieces but for 
the exertions of his friends, who facilitated his 
escape. " Slanderer, terrorist, the Polish Robes- 
" pierre," were the opprobrious epithets lavished 
upon him. Other clubbists were then expelled, and 
an eaid was thus put to the existence of the society, 
amidst remonstrances and threats against the exalta- 
does. Still Mochnacki could not believe himself 
vanquished. Early in the morning, December 4 th, 



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162 THE CLUBBIST8. 

I he betook himself to the ensigns, and represented 
to them, that their first glorious effort would but 
I bring ruin on the country, if they should persist in 

I not taking the power into their own hands — ^that 

Chlopicki was betraying the hopes of the nation — 
that Lubecki employed the credit of Czartoryski 
; and Niemcewicz to the prejudice of the insurrection, 
and that to avert so much evil they must follow him 
to the Bank. The young warriors loaded their mus- 
kets, and set off with him. On the way Mochnacki 
reiterated his previous argument—" that not only 
" dead men could no longer make deceiving speeches, 
" but, more important still, they could make no 
" blunders, nor precipitate their country into a 
" political grave." The bloody theory was about to 
be acted upon. They were already near the Bank, 
when they met Wysocki, their beloved chief. He 
endeavoured to dissuade them from their meditated 
violence. " Whom," he asked, " shall we esteem, 
" if not those who acted with Lubecki ? I know 
" that all has not been well done — the fault is ours, 
" and now we cannot repair it without much blood- 
" shed." The ensigns professed the highest respect 
for Wysocki, yet they hesitated between him and 
Mochnacki, and looked anxiously towards the Bank. 
The latter then whispered to Wysocki — " Let us 
" but blow out the brains of one financier, and the 
" others will be less stubborn." At these words, 
Wysocki knelt before his pupils, exclaiming — " Only 



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THE CLUBBISTS. 163 

" over my lifeless body shall you march to the Bank." 
His firmness prevailed, and they returned to their 
post.// 

On the other hand, the capital was plunged in 
grief by the illness of Chlopicki. The idea of 
having been called a traitor in the club, struck 
like a thunderbolt through his powerful frame. 
The insubordination, too apparent in the army, 
also conspired to agitate him, accustomed as he 
had been from his youth to the discipline of a 
camp. He was seized with apoplexy. Black cur- 
tains in the windows announced his danger. The 
deep sorrow of one portion of the people, the un- 
bounded indignation of the other, portended mis- 
chief. " Death to Mochnacki," cried the multitude, 
assembled round the residence of the suffering war- 
rior, and then dispersed in search of the offender, for 
whom gibbets were already erected in several parts 
of the city. The Garde d'Honneur proclaimed him 
an unworthy son of Poland, struck off his name from 
their list, and sent an address to the hero of their 
hearts and imaginations, with expressions of regret, 
and asseverations, that they would plunge their 
swords in the bosom of every wretch bold enough 
to insult the saviour of the country. Mochnacki 
could nowhere find refuge but in the residence of 
Lubecki, his intended victim. From his youth a 
prison had been his residence. Tliere he learned his 
convulsive hatred of a foreign yoke. To meditate 
on the means of breaking it, was the poetry of his 



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154 THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT. 

wild life, soon consumed by the yet fiercer fever of 
action* 

On the 4th of December, Prince Czartoryski, the 
Castellan Kochanowski, General Pac, Niemcewicz, 
Lelewel, and the deputies Dembowski and Ostrowski, 
proclaimed themselves the Provisional Grovern- 
,-.^ent of the kingdom. They justified their act on 
the grounds that the late Administrative Council had 
proved unequal to continue the government of the 
country in its present extraordinary situation ; and 
that the absence of the king, residing at St. Peters- 
burgh, incapacitated him from meeting the exigen- 
cies of the moment. But still, uncertain as to the 
impression that might be produced in the country 
by the insurrection, as well as from considerations 
of state prudence, they announced themselves consti- 
tuted in the name of the sovereign. The idea, which 
first originated with Lubecki, and was then embo- 
died by Lelewely " Let the constitutional king carry 
" on war with the absolute autocrat,'* was the 
fundamental principle of this Provisional Govern- 
ment J or, in other words, the unsuccessful opposi- 
tion of the Diet was transferred to the field. In 
accordance with this system, they took measures 
calculated to render it triumphant, and which 
at once insurrectionized the country* They sum- 
moned to arms the whole male population, from 
eighteen to forty-five years of age, in order to form a 
guard of safety ; and military exercises were oi'dered 
to be practised twice in the week, under the inspee- 



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THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT. 155 

tion of able officers. In the space of forty-eight 
hours all the country rung with this important mea- 
sure. It was throwing down the glove, assuming 
a gesture, and uttering a voice of power, intended 
to tell the Autocrat, that from the ranks of that 
guard of safety might spring up regiments able to 
enforce any demand of the constitutional king. The 
next step was to recall into service all the disbanded 
soldiers and officers, and to confer on General 
Chlopicki the supreme command of the army, and 
of all the insurrectionary forces, which term now 
appeared for the first time in the official acts. To 
carry the armament into effect with the more energy, 
municipal corporations were immediately instituted. 
Poles!" said the accompanying proclamation, 
^^ the moment has arrived when the whole national 
/" force must be brought into action for the defence 
/ ^ of the national liberties. Let him in whom 
: " Polish blood flows, spare neither wealth nor 
'' health, nor life^— let him hasten to the national 
<^ standard, lest he be outrun in the noble career 
" of self-devotion. The nation with the army, 
^^ and the army with the nation ! Energy and 
^' union shall ensure success. God will help the 
" righteous cause! " The Palatinate Councils were 
summoned for the 15th of December, in order to 
enlighten the government respecting the wishes of 
the public ; and the Diet for the 18th of Decem- 
ber, to pronounce on the conditions of its con- 
tinued existence. 



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156 RESULTS OF THE CONVENTION. 

The appeal of Constantine to Polish loyalty, 
proved beneficial to both parties. It enabled him 
to pursue in safety his retreat into Russia, as the 
Poles were proud to boast that he had at length 
done justice to their generous nature ; whilst it faci- 
litated the access of Polish troops to the insurrection, 
and compelled the Russians to surrender the for- 
tresses of Zamosc and Modlin. The latter capi- 
tulated to Colonel Kicki, and was a valuable 
acquisition, as it contained seven millions of car- 
tridges. He then resolved to attempt his long- 
cherished scheme, of attacking Constantine with a 
body of volunteers, in order to bring him prisoner to 
Warsaw. Anxious lest his victim should escape, 
the colonel was rapidly driving back, when his car- 
riage was overturned, and his leg broken. Some 
fatality seemed to attend the destiny of Poland's 
scourge. Stanislaus Potocki was the first who fell 
a victim to his zeal in saving Constantine ; the two 
Generals, Krasinski and Kurnatowski, were with 
difficulty rescued by Lach Szyrma from a similar 
catastrophe ; and Mochnacki was very near being 
hanged for attempting that for which Colonel 
Kicki thus atoned Poison, administered by a 
Russian, was to end the career of the brother of the 
Russian autocrat No prince was ever murdered 
by the Poles. 

His illness continuing, Chlopicki, on the morning 
of the 5th of December, sent in his resignation, 
an act which was loudly deplored by the citizens. 



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MILITARY DICTATORSHIP. 157 

The illustrious sufferer of the insurrection now 
grew into a colossus, the removal of which portended 
a catastrophe. The remonstrances of the Provi- 
sional Government having failed to change his 
determination. Prince Czartoryski, Niemcewicz, and 
Zamoyski, were deputed to visit him. They 
besought him not to abandon the cause, and on 
his reiterated refusal, the aged Niemcewicz, who had 
witnessed the self-devotion of Kosciuszko, burst into 
tears. At length Chlopicki abruptly exclaimed.— 
" Well, then ! I comply with your request ; but I 
" assume a dictatorial power, for without it, I cannot 
" enforce military subordination" The delegates, 
supposing he meant merely a military dictatorship, 
made no objection ; and Zamoyski was so 
rejoiced that he actually threw himself at his feet. 
" I take the Dictatorship," repeated Chlopicki; 
" but. Gentlemen, this must remain private, and let 
" Niemcewicz write for me an address to the army." 
The women of Poland, like those of ancient 
Rome, have been the instigators of many a glorious 
event, although, since the days of Eve and Pandora, 
the interference of the sex in state affairs, has, on 
the whole, rather tended to evil than good. Chlo- 
picki had passed the previous evening at the house 
of Madame Vonsowicz, where allusion having been 
made to the intention of government to invest him 
with absolute power, that lady observed, " that ab- 
" solute power was a thing to be taken, not given.'^ 
Chlopicki was already, by popular consent, Dictator 



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158 CHLOPICKI PROCLAIMS 

de facto. It is more than probable that this subtle 
remark seized on his perplexed imagination, and 
decided his conduct. On returning home, he sum- 
moned the Generals Krukowiecki and Szembek, and 
Colonel Skrzynecki, to come to him at eleven the 
next morning. They accordingly made thdr appear- 
ance just after the delegates had retired, and having 
answered for the obedience of all within the city, 
received his orders to bring their respective troops 
to the Keld of Mars (Grande Place d'Armes), at 
two o'clock in the afternoon. 

In the meantime Prince Czartoryski and Niem- 
cewicz, on their return to the Bank, being apprehen- 
sive that Chlopicki might contemplate something 
more than a mere military dictatorship, caused his 
nomination to be made out and sent to him, signed 
by all the members of the Provisional Government, 
and investing him with unlimited authority over the 
army. Chlopicki was enraged. He inveighed against 
the bad faith, as he termed it, of the delegates in be- 
traying his secret* Infatuated by the suggestion o( 
Madame Vonsowicz, the very idea of being nomi- 
nated, which implied a power superior to his own, 
was intolerable to him. Burning with resentment, 
pouring forth a torrent of invectives, and followed 
by a numerous staff, he repaired to the Bank, 
entered the presence of the members, tore the paper 
before their eyes, and, striking on the table with his 
fist, told them in accents of thunder, that he needed 
no nomination, but that he enjoined them the strictest 



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HIMSEI.F DICTATOR. 169 

obedience to his will, and then immediately quitting 
their presence, galloped to tlie Campus Martius. It 
was three o'clock. The shouts of the impatient 
populace rose in the air, as they saw the man ap- 
proach, whose colossal stature, martial aspect, and 
eagle eye, bespoke a hero, who, with iron grasp, 
seized on the reigns of power, for the prostration of 
their giant foe. Welcomed by cheers and music, he 
first addressed the ensigns, eulogized their heroism, 
and promised them an honourable distinction. He 
then spoke to the people and the army, testified his 
satisfaction at their fervent love of liberty, urged the 
necessity of establishing a powerful government, and 
finished by announcing himself Dictator, and asking 
whether they approved the act. The universal cry 
of " Long live the Dictator," put their sentiments 
beyond all doubt. He assured them that he would 
not abuse his power, but would resign it in due time 
into the hands of the Diet ; and then uncovering his 
head, exclaimed, with devotional reverence, " Long 
** live the Fatherland ! " It is impossible to describe 
the enthusiasm of the people at that magic word. 
This step filled the capital with joy — -joy such as 
had not been felt in any part of Poland for at least 
half a century. From this concentration of the exe- 
cutive power they exultingly anticipated war with 
Russia, a glorious war for national independence. 
The morning of the 5th of December dawned in 
uncertainty of the fate of Poland— -the evening closed 
joyfully as a wedding banquet ''^The national theatre 



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160 PUBLIC JOY. 

was opened for the first time since the insurrection. 
The audience was immense. At the sight of the 
Polish and Lithuanian banners, the enthusiasm was 
unbounded. They were hailed as a symbol of the 
Dictatorship, promising the reunion of the sister 
countries. The performers clustering round them, 
chaunted a solemn national hynin. The public 
joined in the chorus, and sang with the performers 
the concluding words of the 
" Poles !" A patriotic play U 
^^ The Cracoyians and the Highlanders," followed, 
after which the orchestra revived the hitherto for- 
bidden melodies : the stately polonaise of Kosci- 
uszko, the solemn march of Dombrowski, and the 



strophe : " To arms, 
ong since prohibited. 



^ famous mazourka of the Polish legions in Italy. 

Just then the curtain fell, and the performers ad- 
vancing to dance the mazourka, the sight inspired 
the pit, and in an instant every body joined. All 
distinctions were laid aside : patriotism equalized 
all. Two grave senators gave the example, and 
officers, soldiers, ensigns, academical guards, pro- 
fessors, deputies, high-bred ladies, all partook in the 
rejoicing, continuing the air with their voices, when 
the orchestra gave over from fatigue. With such 
expansion of feeling did the citizens of Warsaw 
welcome the dictatorship. // 

The enthusiastic satisfaction with which the Poles, 

' stigmatized by historians, for their unlimited love of 

liberty, and even of licence, welcomed the absolutism 

of a soldier, — thus scattering to the winds their new- 



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THE DICTATORSHIP. 161 

born freedom, and bending their necks to another 
yoke, when they had yet scarcely shaken off 
the old one, is worthy of serious consideration. 
In modern times, the Polish nation has had two 
important epochs. The Constitution of the 3rd of 
May, 1791, was one great result of national reflec- 
tion, when the nobility, casting from them their 
pride of ages, admitted into their rank the inhabi* 
tants of towns, in order gradually to extend equality 
of rights to all. On the present occasion, the Polish 
people showed equal wisdom, when they sanctioned 
with rejoicings the military dictatorship. A Polish 
insuiTCction is indeed an affair of arms ; it can only 
breathe under the coat of mail, advance to the roar 
of cannon, and be guided by a helmed head. The 
dictatorship was, besides, a rule of war with Russia. 
A war with the Autocrat of all the Russias, called 
for a corresponding force on the antagonistic part. 
Poland met the difficulty, and opposed to the sublime 
of despotism, the sublimer obedience to a single 
soldier. Politically considered, the establishment 
of this power did not declare Poland to be either a 
monarchy or a republic, and thus she could give no 
umbrage to her neighbours. This negative form was 
as consonant to good policy as to the actual state of 
things. Poland had as yet no independent exist- 
ence, and could not, therefore, yet assume a political 
name, but retained the liberty to select hereafter that 
which might prove best adapted to subsequent events. 
In a social point of view, also, the dictatorship was 

M 



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162 THE DICTATORSHIP. 

the very form best calculated to repress for the 
moment all internal dissension, and to concentrate 
the whole strength of the people upon the great 
object of their sufferings and sacrifices-«-the ac- 
complishment of their independence. How far 
Chlopicld realized the idea of the Dictatorship 
remains to be seen. 



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CHAPTER IV. 

The first Period of the Dictatorship. 

On the 6th of December, Chlopieki iissued a 
proclamation, which embodied his system of policy. 
Xa his opinion, the insurrection was only a most 
pgitLmate revolt, to subside as soon as the abuses 
(that brought it on should be remedied, and the 
I Poles were to continue faithful to the emperor. The 
' constitutional liberties of a small portion, not the 
independence of all Poland, formed the ground- 
i work of the soldier's political aspirations. Such a 
system was contrary to sound policy, as the con- 
stitutional liberties of the kingdom, depending on 
autocratic Russia, were but an illusion which could 
not be realized without extending them to the 
sister countries. But no one penetrated the true 
meaning of Chlopicki's manifesto, so dazzled were 
all by the name of the dictatorship, which was con- 
sidered as the earnest of immediate war with Russia, 
This fatal misunderstanding between the nation and 
the directing power, characterised all the first period 
of the dictatorship. — Chlopieki, the descendant of 
a noble, but poor, Lithuanian family, had spent the 
greater part of his life in the camp, beginning his 



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164 BIOGRAPHY OF CHLOPfCKl, 

military career under Kosciuszko^ and subsequently 
fighting in Italy, under General Dombrowskii and 
in Spain, where Mina and Palafox were his unsuc- 
cessful antagonists. His conduct at the siege of 
Saragossa, where, with a small detachment of troops , 
he carried a very difficult post, surprised a French 
officer into exclaiming, " Great God ! how happened 
" it that Poland fell, possessing such brave 
** sons !" Marshal Suchet, in his memoirs, calls him 
" the bravest of the brave/* In the campaign of 
1812 against Russia, he commanded a division in 
Napoleon's army, and was severely wounded at the 
assault on Smolensk. On the establishment of the 
kingdom, he refused to serve under the capricious 
Constantine, and retired into private life; nor could 
the staff of Russian field-marshal^ nor the Emperor 
Alexander's promises of the highest distinctions, 
induce him to alter his resolution. The great, 
though perhaps^ negative merit of being neither to 
be bribed nor terrified into becoming, like many 
others, the oppressor of his countrymen, gained 
him the respect of the nation, and made him at 
once the hero of the insurrection. Though sixty 
years of age, he still enjoyed all the vigour of 
manhood. 

It had been the endeavour of Prince Czartoryski, 
to insurrectionize the formed administration, by 
Absorbing into it all the revolutionary fervour, 
energy, and capacity, and he had in a great 
degree succeeded in hi« object. Chlopicki's 



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HIS GOVERNMENT. 165 

/ system tended to anarchize the absolute pdwer 
he had usurped. He who had witnessed the 
telegraphic administration of the French Con- 
vention, and the yet more energetic prefectorial 
organization of Napoleon's government, could 
scarcel}'- understand that the dictatorship admitted 
no other distinction than that of command and blind 
obedience. But he soon shrunk under the vastness 
of the charge he had assumed, and hastened to divide 
it with others. The Provisional Government, with 
the exception of Lelewel, who was appointed minis- 
ter of public instruction, was left unchanged, to 
enforce the execution of the Dictator's commands, 
to prepare new measures for his sanction, and to 
watch over the public functionaries. Independent 
of the Provisional Government, were his ministers, 
or rather vice-ministers, as Chlopicki, to preserve, as 
far as possible, the stattis quo, had not dismissed, but 
only suspended the former ministers from the 
exercise of their functions. These vice-ministers, as 
well as the government, were to communicate with 
the Dictator through the medium of his secretary, 
a sort of ministerial secretary of state. On the 
whole, the much complicated representative system, 
in lieu of being simplified and assimilated, as much 
as possible to the autocratism of Russia, was but 
rendered more weak and disjointed by the creation 
of useless functionaries* 

The insurrection was born without a head, and 
Lubecki paralyzed it by giving it a diplomatic one. 



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166 NEGOCIATIONS. 

But what was then the exigency of the moment, 
became, under Chlopicki, a permanent system. On the 
7th December he dispatched Zainoyski to annomice 
to General Rosen, the commander of the Lithuanian 
corps, that a deputation being now about to proceed 
to St. Petersburgh, the Dictator would hold him 
responsible for all the innocent blood that might 
be shed by his instrumentality. Rosen, in his reply, 
gave him to understand that he had not received 
any orders to attack the Poles, which answer tended 
to confirm the confidence Chlopicki placed in the 
efficacy of negociation. Lubecki, whose want of 
patriotic ardour was sometimes compensated by 
incomparable sagacity, had frequently said before 
the groups of the curious who surrounded him at 
the Bank; " A war with Russia is not neces- 
" sary. Alexander was sincere in his intention 
" of re-uniting the sister countries. Nicholas 
" will realize this great idea, advantageous also to 
' * Russia herself. He will proclaim himself king of all 
" Poland — do you comprehend me? of all Poland. 
'' The friendship of Austria is doubtful. Ptussia 
" may be indemnified in the west, and Poland and 
" Russia united may then dictate to the world." 
When asked " where was the guarantee that the Gzar 
" would act thus ? " " The guarantee," he replied, 
** is in a wise policy. Let no time be lost — ^we 
" have money, arms, and troops. Let us arm yet 
" more extensively^ and let us do so quickly. Nego- 
" ciations are best prosecuted sword in hand. I do 



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-^^^ : ' NEGOCIATiONS. 167 

^ " not, however, consider a war as probable. We 

" have permitted the Grand Duke to retire honour- 
" ably — heloves 2^,and will be our mediator with the 
" emperor. I shall myself go to St. Petersburgh. 
" No one could obtain more than I can from the 
" emperor. Were my head to lack arguments^ I 
*^ would draw them from the soles of my shoes" (his 
favourite phrase), ^^ and bring you the sister coun* 
" tries as a new year's gifi^ So spoke the wily 
Russian minister, when he thought that the insur- 
rection was at his disposal, to he developed only so 
far as he should deem expedient. But on discover- 
ing that the nation welcomed the dictatorship as the 
fittest means of carrying on war with Russia, he 
entirely lost confidence in his system of half insur- 
rection ; and if he consented, at Chlopicki's request, 
^ to go as envoy to St. Petersburgh, it was rather 
^A^ 4 ^' through fear lest he should have to answer with his 
^' vr'' \ head for the mischief he had already done to the 
^f! ,y (/ cause. Prince Czartoryski also looked upon nego- 
.^/'"v^ (.ciadon as useless, knowing the Russian cabinet to 
" ^v j^ gygp averse to concession; and if he did not 
ely oppose the attempt, it was in order that the 
est of Europe might be convinced, by this step, 
that the Poles had no objection to an amicable 
arrangement \ and he still urged the Dictator to act 
as though no negociations were pending. But 
what was only a trifling episode in his policy, 
formed the very essence of Chlopicki's. The 
deputy Stanislaus Jezierski was appointed to 




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168 MISSION TO ST. PETERSBURGH. 

accompany Lubecki, Count Ladislaus Ostrowski 
having refused, from considerations of the unpo- 
pularity and impolicy of the diplomatic mission. 
A long list of grievances to be presented to the 
emperor, was prepared by the government j and 
Chlopicki also addressed a letter to him, in which 
he made the following demands as a sine qua turn 
of pacification. 1st. That the Constitutional Charter 
should receive such guarantees as would, for the 
future, remove all possibility of its being violated ; 
2nd. That Russian troops should not thenceforth be 
gairisoned in Poland ; 3rd. That permission should 
be given for the organization of a national militia 
like that of Prussia, but on a larger scale; and, finally, 
that the sister-countries should be made partakers 
in the constitutional liberties, accoi-ding to the 
treaty of Vienna. Furnished with these documents. 
Prince Lubecki and Jezierski left Warsaw for St. 
Petersburgh on the 10th of December. 

The undisturbed march of Constantine to Russia, 
formed a portion of the conditions. He moved off 
very slowly, and did not cross the frontier till 
the 13th. The generosity shown him by the Poles, 
was much commended throughout Europe. Besides 
eight thousand of the best troops, and forty cannon, 
permitted to escape, they lost, in the person of Con^ 
stantine, a most valuable hostage. Mochnacki would 
have detained him, to throw his head into the 
Russian camp, as the Romans did that of Hamilcar 
into the Carthaginian, in case of Nicholas rejecting 



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RETREAT OF CONSTANTINE. 169 

the conditions. Other considerations rendered his 
detention politically important to the insurrection. 
He had been prevailed upon by Alexander to resign 
his right of primogeniture in favour of Nicholas. 
This had given birth to a report, much believed in 
the remoter parts of Russia, that his resignation was 
the result of compulsion. His second solemn abdi- 
cation, on the accession of Nicholas, strengthened it 
in the opinion of the Muscovites, who detested, not 
less than he did himself, the system of foreignism pre- 
vailing in Russia ; and this rendered him very popu- 
lar amongst them. The Poles might therefore have 
given out that he was, or at least would be Czar, 
and two Czars would have much facilitated the ar- 
rangement of their own affairs. A word from Con- 
stantine would have given the Lithuanian corps over 
to the Poles. By means of a false Czar, they once 
conquered all Muscovy. But the memory of these 
broad strokes of statesmanship had been erased from 
the history of Poland by Russian oppression. 
Princess Lowicka accompanied her husband in his 
flight. He took pleasure in often declaring that this 
beautiful and highly accomplished lady was an angel 
of consolation to him in his wretched condition. 
Notwithstanding her self-devotion, however, her in- 
fluence was not sufficient to soften his ferocity towards 
the unfortunate Major Lukasinski. This high-minded 
patriot had languished for several years in the dun- 
geons of the Belvedere. The insurrection only in- 
creased Constantine's rage against the noble sufferer. 



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170 ARMAMENT. 

He was carried off like a wild beasts and was seen in 
Lithuania, clothed in rags, with a flowing beard, 
chained to a cannon, following the chariot of Poland's 
scourge. During his march, whenever Constantine 
chanced to meet a Polish soldier, he used to exclaim, 
" VoiUi encore un de mes braves soldats Polonais ! 
" L'armee Polonaise est la premiere armee du 
^' monde ! " He returned to witness its gallantry, in 
spite of his solemn promise to the contrary. 

The whole Polish army, previous to the insurrec- 
tion, consisted of thirteen infantry regiments of two 
battalions each, and one battalion of sappers, in all 
twenty-seven J of nine cavalry regiments of four 
squadrons each, in all 86 ; and an artillery of eight 
batteries of eight pieces each, in all 64 ; together 
with the superannuated veterans and gens-d'armes 
the whole force amounted to 31,000 men. Amongst 
the many plans for augmenting their number, Colonel 
Chrzanowski proposed that of tripling it by new 
levies, to be at once incorporated with the army of 
the line. This plan, the only eligible one, Chlopicki's 
unfortunate policy induced him to reject. " I cannot 
" do this," said he*, *' for it is only by leaving every- 
" thing in its statu quo, that the emperor can be 
^' maintained in the persuasion that he may yet 
*^ recover the kingdom. Now these new levies, and 
" these alone, do not belong to the former state of 

* La Lettre du G^end Cklapoweki sur la Chienre de Pobgne 
0n ISdl.—Berlin. 



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ARMAMENT. 171 

f^ things. The emperor's first demand will be, that 
" they be dismissed, which must be accomplished 
^^ with as much delay as possible, in order to gain 
" time : and each man must keep his horse saddled, 
" and his lance in readiness. We must, in the 
" meantime, negociate and demsthd the establish- 
^^ ment of a material force as a guarantee ; for though 
^^ an oath may be deemed a sufficient security, a . 
" powerful monarch can always find means lo evade 
" it." This strange system of negociating, to obtain 
the emperor's permission for fortifying the little king- 
dom, and organizing a powerful force against him^ 
iself ; this system of vain expectation, rendered Chlo- 
picki even unjust towards the Polish troops. When 
i^his attention was demdnded to the probability bf war, 

^^^'*^ How shall we carry on war?" he would reply. 

*\ « Yfe have no able officers. I know only of two 

^' generals, Klicki and Rutti6, who understand war ; 
^^ and these are superannuated. Of the rest, some 
** can have lealtied nothing on the square of Saxony, 
" and others have forgotten what they knew. We 
" mUst wait till a revolution breaks out in Russia, 
*^ where it is ripening in all hearts ; and when the 
^^ Russians shall be engaged with their hom^e afTaii'S) 
" we may find time to organize a powerful afmy, 
" and to form officers." This Utopian system he 
defended in good faith, and was ready, in case of 
need, to support it by force. " In the actual state of 
** affairs," added he, *^ I will not l^id the troops 



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172 ARMAMENT. 

^.^ and the nation to be butchered, unless the emperor 
^^ refuse all answer. Should he push his arrogance 
^' so far, then I will rather perish, than ask his 
" mercy." 

But it was impossible to stop the torrent of na- 
tiijmal feeling. The insurrection had long been in 
alHi^rts, though but in a very few heads. By una- 
nimous acclamations, the country now at once pro- 
claimed the insurrection the affair of all Poles. By 
religious ceremonies, by public festivals, by offerings 
of every description deposited on the altar of the 
fatherland, by the rushing of volunteers into the 
ranks of the army, it was sanctioned as a national 
act from one extremity of Poland to the other. At 
the call " to arms !" the whole nation rose as at a 
doomsday summons. Every feeling was immedi- 
ately brought into action. The patriotic ardour was 
so great, that all were ready at a word from Chlo- 
picki to lay down life and property, even to the 
widow's mite. The address sent to the government 
by the Cracovians, the boldest and most spirited race 
of Poland, inhabiting those hills which rise gradually 
into the Carpathian mountains — will convey an idea 
of ardent patriotism to which the torpor of the di- 
recting power presents a dispiriting contrast. " We 
*^ ask," so said the brave scythemen of Kosciuszko, 
" no further guarantee of the charter which has never 
" yet been observed — we demand only that our 
'^ noble country may re-assume her rank amongst 



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ARMAMENT. 173 

" the nations of Europe. Let us remember that 
^^ we are still those Poles of whom an historian* has 
^* said, ^ the Poles in their warlike enterprises, some- 
*^ ^ times promise to achieve impossibilities, and 
" * often do even more than they have promised. ' " 
" The sword is unsheathed— let us throw away the 
" scabbard. We touch the shore, let us burn the 
^< ship, that the weak, if such there be amongst us, 
" may lose all hope of retreat. Let us not reject 
" foreign aid, but do not let us depend exclusively 
" upon it. Only in ourselves and in God be our 
" trust, and we shall conquer. At your call, as by 
" magic, 60,000 scythemen of the guard of safety 
'' have taken arms in four days. Should you de- 
*^ mand Cracouses, thousands will march at your 
" bidding. We shall send them to the field the 
" more willingly, since your election of General 
" Chlopicki allows of no doubt that their efforts will 
" be well directed," &c. &c. Similar scenes took 
place in every palatinate. Peasants, who, under the 
Russian government, must have been dragged in 
chains to the army, now flocked eagerly to the 
standard, to the sound of their provincial melodies. 
Monks left their convents, priests their altars, students 
their colleges. Even the Mohamedan Tatars, colo- 
nized in the palatinate of Augustow, and celebrated 
as excellent lancers, declared, in glowing addresses, 
their sympathy with the cause, and their determina- 

* Segur, Campagne de Bussic en 1812. 



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174 ARMAMENT. 

tion to spill their blood in its defence. To such 
enthusiasm^ some response was indispensable. To 
satisfy the general ardour, and at the same time to 
act consistently with his determination to temporize, 
Chlopicki confirmed the measures of the Provisional 
Government, concerning the armament. He aug- 
mented the infantry regiments by a third and fourth 
battalion^ and the cavalry by two squadrons, each 
formed of the disbanded soldiers who had been re- 
called to service. With respect to the guard of safety, 
he appointed two regimentaries, each commanding 
four palatinates. They were instructed to organize 
ten battalions in every palatinate of 1000 men each, 
armed with scythes and pikes. But as almost all 
the disbanded officers resumed service in the old 
army, the regimentaries were under the necessity of 
officering their levies by civilians, which proved an 
effectual bar to the new troops ever becoming as 
efficient as the old. To each palatinate also was 
appointed a military commander of the moveable 
guard of safety, and these were to march into the 
field, or fuj^nish recruits to the line, as might be 
found expedient. The organization of the new 
cavalry was carried on with more effect Every fifty 
houses in towns or villages were required to furnish 
one horseman fully equipped. The eight palati* 
nates armed 10,000 such, under the general appel- 
lation of Mazours and Cracouses. There is a 
saying, that Poland will never want for men, horses, 
and lances ; and the present occasion confirmed its 



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ARHAM£NT. 175 

truth. It was suggested to Chlopicki that every 
ten houses might easily equip one horseman^ to 
which he merely replied — ^^ We do not want so 
" many irregulars." Warsaw now possessed a na- 
tional guard; an institution which, however, was 
not new to Poland. In Kosduszko's time, it had 
been foremost in the famous defence of that city 
against the Prussian and Russian forces ; in 1809, 
against the Austrians. It now consisted of two 
regiments of infantry, each four battalions, and one 
regiment of horse guards ; and all householders, 
merchants, and public functionaries, at salaries not 
exceeding 3000 florins, were enrolled in it. Priests 
and Jews were exempted, on finding a substitute. In 
addition to the government levies, cavalry re^ments 
were raised and equipped by private individuals, 
Chlopicki encouraging their zeal by providing them 
with military instructors, and announcing that each 
regiment should bear the name of the person who 
raised it, which should also be Inscribed on the walls 
of the Senate Chamber. Amongst the regiments 
thus furnished were the Cracouses of Prince Ponia- 
towski, the cavalry of Kuszel, the volunteers of 
Kalish, the Posen cavalry, and the Zamoyski lancers. 
This rih and ancient family had invariably contri- 
buted a regiment to every insurrection. Five of the 
brothers now served in different regiments. Happy 
the mother that gives birth to such gallant sons !«— 
Corps of sharp-shooters, some of them 600 strong, 
were also organized, and proved very elective. The 



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>rW ^\> </ ARMAMENT. 



J' >• 



^ ^ ^-Ttew levies, however, and particularly the infantry^ 
(xT^ were entirely destitute of arms. Of the 30,000 mus- 
y\7^\ kets from the arsenal, originally distributed to the 
people, only 15,000 were forthcoming, for the use 
of the disbanded soldiers. The remainder had dis- 
appeared amongst the Jews. Instead of stimulating 
the manufacturers at home and abroad by a bounty, 
Chlopicki merely gave a cold permission for their 
fabrication. He even neglected to procure arms from 
Austria during a whole month that the importation 
remained free. The manufacture of swords and two- 
edged scythes proceeded more rapidly, thanks to the 
zeal of private individuals. With artillery the Poles 
were equally ill provided. Subsequentiy they col- 
lected 136 field pieces, but the number never bore 
any proportion to the formidable train of the enemy. 
The walls of "Warsaw, three leagues in circumference, 
the important fortress of Modlin, had but sixty can- 
non each. Zamosc, more open to assault, had two 
hundred and eighty. This deficiency caused an 
anxiety which afterwards proved to have been but 
too well grounded, for the Russians finally succeeded 
only by dint of their numerous artillery. A great 
evil was the want of powder, as the stock found at 
Modlin would scarcely suffice for two or three great 
batties. The mills were soon set to work ; but in 
spite of all efforts, only a very small quantity of 
saltpetre (always scarce in Poland) could be pro- 
cured. At the appeal of government, private persons 
manufactured it in their houses, and this precarious 



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PLANS OF WAR. 177 

supply was all they had to oppose to the gigantic 
force and inexhaustible resources of their enemies. 

Owing to Chlopicki*s resolute adherence to his ne- 
gociation system, all idea of an offensive campaign ne- 
cessarily subsided. Napoleon said, and all strategists 
have repeated the proposition, that the master of the 
triangle formed by Warsaw, Modlin, and Serock, 
would be master of Poland. Within this triangle, 
Chlopicki resolved to decide his country's fate ; and, 
his determination once taken, no remonstrance was 
able to shake his iron will. There chanced to be 
about him two men of brilliant military talent, 
Colonels Prondzynski and Chrzanowski, whom, it 
would seem, he had overlooked when estimating the 
merits of his officers. Between these two existed a 
distinction such as sometimes occurs between two 
persons devoted to the same art or science ; between 
the poetical and the practical man, the man of im- 
pulse, or of forethought. Prondzynski, full of re- 
source, no sooner saw his first plan rejected, than he 
at once brought forward another; a third, a fourth, and 
all differing from each other. Chrzanowski, on the 
other hand, practical rather than imaginative, having 
once matured a plan, would not abandon it. He 
was more reasoning and determined than Pron- 
dzynski, and was therefore superior to him in action. 
Each of these men was destined to exercise his I 
specific influence on the destiny of Poland. Pron- | 
dzynski, in his inexhaustible fancy, found arguments 
to support all the old general's visions. He entered 

N 



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178 PLANS OF WAR. 

into his plan of giving battle within the triangle, but 
insisted, in the event of defeat, upon the propriety 
of defending Warsaw, which the Dictator in that 
case proposed to abandon. Chrzanowski's idea of 
an insurrectionary war with Russia was different. 
He objected, not without reason, to the triangle, of 
which one angle, Serock, was not fortified at all,— 
Modlin was scarcely in a state to resist the feeblest 
attack, and Warsaw was also almost without defence. 
The Polish army, he said, might perish gloriously at 
Warsaw, but could assuredly not conquer. Not 
satisfied with stating his objections to the proposed 
plan, he submitted to Chlopicki's consideration, one 
of his own, which, if it had been adopted, might 
have decided the fate of the hostile nations. 

Impassable morasses, beginning about six leagues 
from Brzesc Litewski, and extending one hundred 
in length towards the Dnieper, cut off all commu- 
nication between Lithuania and Volhynia. They 
are never frozen, and no army has yet ventured 
to attempt crossing them. The Polish insurrection 
surprised the Russian troops separated by these 
morasses, when preparing to march against France, 
in consequence of the July revolution. Among the 
papers belonging to Constantine, found in the Bel- 
vedere, both the itinerary and the number of the 
troops were minutely detailed. Upon these facts, 
and upon the principle as true with respect to a 
nation, as to an individual, a battalion, or an army, 
that the weaker party, incapable of defence, ought 



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PLANS OF yjTAE, 179 

to attack, Chrzanowski based his plan of an offen- 
sive campaign. Having accompanied the Russian 
army in the late Turkish war, he was also aware 
that the four corps advancing from the Turkish fron- 
tier were in so disorganized a condition, that they 
could not reach Poland before the middle of March ; 
and, added to these strategic considerations, he felt 
convinced, as a statesman, that the autocrat, at the 
first intelligence of the insurrection, would issue an 
ukase for the extermination of the rebels. For these 
weighty reasons, he urged on Chlopicki the propriety 
of attacking, with a superior force, the five other 
Russian corps advancing through Lithuania, and 
dispersed over a long line extending from St. Peters- 
burgh to Brzesc Litewski, beginning with the Lithu- 
V ^nian corps of 30,000 men, chiefly officered by 
v^^ Poles. The four others were respectively not more 
^"^^ numerous. He conjured Chlopicki to adopt his 
\''y plan, which he offered to carry into effect with 

^ I 50,000 men only ; and on the objection being made 

that Lithuania would not rise, he urged that they 
might advance by conquest. Victory, in his opi- 
nion, was ensured by the daring of the manoeuvre, 
independently of all other circumstances. To make 
his object still plainer, he said that Poland would 
not come forward spontaneously, but must be made 
to come — that, at all events, fifteen millions of Poles 
had a better chance of success than four ; and that, 
in a defensive campaign, four of the palatinates 
would be immediately occupied by the enemy, and 



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180 PLANS OF WAE, 

the remaining four be doomed to struggle against 
the whole force of Russia. To reconcile his pro- 
position to the system of negociations, he observed 
that nothing could more effectually promote them 
than the advance of the Poles into Lithuania. Great 
empires, like great men, have their v^reak moments. 
Russia, without historical merit, grown into power 
by the robberies of one century only, a barbarian 
state without society, lay then at the mercy of the 
Poles. Providence — for an historian sees in such 
events the finger of Providence — seemed, for a 
moment, reconciled to them. But some fatality 
blinded Chlopicki ; and he shrunk before the great- 
ness of the attempt, and of the glory that must 
thereby have accrued to him. He rejected Chrza- 
nowski's plan, fearing that the Russians would find 
means to avoid a battle until all their forces shotdd 
be united, and that the pursuit of them, during a 
rigorous winter, on bad roads, and amid deserts of 
snow, would expose the Poles to inevitable destruc- 
tion. Chrzanowski, as an artist yet unknown does 
his first composition, carried his plan to many a 
general of repute, but not one would enter into his 
views. 

. In pursuance of his defensive plan, the Dictator 
gave orders for repairing the fortifications of Praga, 
situated on the left bank of the Vistula, opposite to 
Warsaw ; and at his invitation persons of every age, 
sex, and mnk, laboured at the work from morning 
till night, beguiling their toil by singing patriotic 



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PLANS OF WAR. 181 

melodies. On one occasion, about a hundred beau- 
tiful country girls, with spades in their hands, led 
by the Starostine Zaleska, went in procession to 
work on the walls. The fair group was preceded by 
a young girl dressed in white, with purple ribbands 
flowing from her hair, holding in one hand a spade, 
and in the other a standard, on which patriotic 
lines shone in glittering letters. The charm of 
such a sight, irresistible to Polish hearts, so wrought 
upon the higher orders in the town, that they too 
joined these vestals of patriotic devotion. One poor 
artisan never left the walls, day or night. His father 
had fallen in the savage massacre under SuwarofF; 
and the son, attributing the misfortune of the city 
to the weakness of its fortifications, now devoted 
his own existence to render them impregnable. 

Such enthusiasm must be contagious. Chlopicki 
seemed to appreh^id this, and never appeared in 
public. Surrounded by the academical garde d'hon- 
neur, who watched night and day over the idol of their 
hearts, he spent his time in meditation — perhaps on 
the contrast between his self-imposed inaction, and 
the ardour of the nation. Aroused from his apathy, 
he at last sent, at Colonel Szyrma's suggestion, 
some of that guard to the Lithuanian frontier, to 
ascertain whether the Russians were making any 
warlike preparations. Lelewel also, as one of his 
ministers, sometimes whispered the propriety of 
marching some troops, volunteers perhaps, to insur- 
rectionize Lithuania. Chlopicki objected, because^ 



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'«* 



182 MEETING OF THE DIET* 

as he affirmed^ no insurrection to shake off the 
foreign yoke had broken out, but only a revolu- 
tion, excited by the abuse of power. " Let the 
" Lithuanians rise of themselves," said he, " and 
^■% ** then I shall not abandon them. At present, I 
j^**" ( <^r"^^^ ^^* ^^^^ cartridges for them." Lelewel then 
^./»; "^ X proposed to dispatch messengers to ascertain what 
r^^A^j^v "" b spirit prevailed there ; to which Chlopicki consented. 
(y" Lithuania was groaning under oppression, and they 

thought it necessary to inquire if she wished for 
relief. 

The 18th of December, the day on which the 
Diet was to open, drew near. Some apprehension 
had been entertained as to the integrity of the 
representatives elected under the Russian rule of 
corruption. To the honour of the Poles, that 
apprehension proved groundless. In preparatory 
meetings, the deputies discussed the question, 
whether the Diet should be opened by the Dicta- 
tor in person, or should constitute itself by its own 
/ authority, and the latter course was resolved upon. 

On the 17th of December, a deputation of 
twenty members of the Diet, with Prince Czar- 
toryski at their head, waited on Chlopicki, at 
his own desire. The Prince stated the aversion 
felt by the country to negociation, and the general 
call for war. Chlopicki replied, that he would not 
at that time go to war ; nor would he pledge him- 
self to do more than procure sufficient guarantees 
for the observance of the charter; and that no 



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MEETING OF THE DIET. 183 

Russian garrison should be, in future, left in Poland. 
" I cannot promise any thing further," he concluded ; 
" such is my unchangeable political profession." 
" But, Dictator," said the deputy Zwierkowski, " we 
" ought not to abandon Lithuania, Podolia, Volhy- 
'^ nia, and Ukraina, which have no constitutional 
^ king. Let us act honestly, or not at all."-^" I am 
r here in the place of the constitutional king. I will 
" hold no debate with you," replied the Dictator, 
and quitted the room in great excitement. On 
Lelewel observing, that although Chlopicki had fre- 
quently made similar declarations, he had never- 
theless generally added, that, in case the Muscovites 
were defeated at Warsaw, he would set no bounds 
to his demands, together with their conviction that 
he was the only man to whom the command of the 
forces could be safely entrusted, the deputies came 
to the conclusion that their wisest course was still 
to conceal his declaration from the public. 

Such were the auspices under which both cham- 
bers of the Diet met on the 18th, at five in the 
afternoon. The members who had waited on the 
Dictator, presented a report, showing that it had 
been agreed to open the Diet on the 21st, and that 
the Dictator hoped to do it in person. " Why 
" such delay ? Let us begin business at once j" 
resounded from all sides ; and the Chamber of 
Deputies, in consequence, immediately declared 
itself constituted. Ladislaus Ostrowski was elected 
marshal (speaker) by unanimous acclamation, and 



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184 MEETING OF THE DIET. 

placed in the chair. With yet louder acclamations 
was the insurrection proclaimed to be a national 
affair, and thanks voted to its authors. The depu- 
ties then added, " We demand the liberty and inde- 
f pendence of all Poland ! We wish to embrace 
" within these walls the representatives of Lithuania, 
" Volhynia, Podolia, and Ukraina." Liberal con- 
tributions were then deposited on the altar of the 
Fatherland, the first offering being made by the 
marshal. 

The Senatorial Chamber expressed, through its 
president, Prince Czartoryski, its entire sjonpathy 
with the measures of the Chamber of Deputies; and 
these acts of the Diet, breathing the same patriotic 
spirit which animated the nation, placed it at once 
in direct opposition to the Dictator. As yet no de- 
puty had dared to destroy the general illusion. Lele- 
wel alone hinted, in his mysterious manner, that the 
proceedings of the Diet would prove distasteful to 
him. But Chlopicki comprehended his own position, 
and perceived, at once, that they were condemnatory 
of his policy. He sent in his resignation about mid- 
night, having previously communicated his resolu- 
tion to the marshal, who vainly endeavoured to 
persuade him to retain the authority until the Diet 
could provide other means for carrying on the 
government. The ex-dictator even taxed the Diet 
with having produced a counter-revolution. Two 
revolutions, widely differing in their objects, did 
indeed exist. Chlopicki confined the insurrection 



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V MEETING OF THE DIET. 186 

within eight palatinates — the Diet extended it as far 
as the boundaries of ancient Poland. 

During the 19th, nothing was heard in Warsaw 
but lamentations : " The enemy is at our gates, and 
" our army without a commander ;" and the hostile 
feeling towards the Diet vented itself in menaces of 
doing away with it. Meanwhile the government 
appointed a temporary general, and prepared a report 
of the actual state of the country, to enable the 
Diet to decide what form of power was best adapted 
to the exigencies of the insurrection. Ostrowski, 
however, apprehensive still more than the rest, of 
civil anarchy, and thinking that, provided Chlopicki 
did but vanquish the Russians at Warsaw or in 
Lithuania, it mattered not whether he fought in the 
name of the national insurrection, or in that of the 
constitutional king, took upon himself to again 
impose his dictatorship upon the country. In a 
private interview which he had that evening with 
him, they concerted certain conditions, by which the 
dictatorship should thenceforward be restrained. 
Chlopicki was to be invested with unlimited power, 
in the exercise of which he was not to be held 
responsible ; but a committee was to be appointed 
to watch over his conduct, and at its will, or by 
his voluntary resignation, the dictatorship was to 
cease. This committee was to consist of two sena- 
tors and three deputies, elected by the marshal of the 
Diet and the president of the Senate. The Diet 
had been adjourned till the 21st, but Ostrowski, on 



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180 MEETING OF THE DIET. , 

pretext of the critical situation of affairs, summoned 
it for the 20th, when, by his own authority, he 
changed the object of the meeting. Instead of the 
government report, the new project, relative to the 
dictatorship, was brought forward by the marshal 
himself, who prefaced his motion by observing, that 
amendment or discussion were here out of the 
question, and that it must be accepted or rejected, 
* :, mK^ now stood. 

^vV^Not less than twenty-four deputies spoke in suc- 
\ n: • ATycession in favour of the dictatorship, recommending, 
> -; x^^^ however, a modification of the proposed conditions. 
s^y But they were silenced by the marshal's unvarying 
y/' assertion that Chlopicki would not consent that 

a letter of them should be changed, and the motion 
was carried, as it were, by assault. The third article 
was, however, so far altered as to permit the Diet to 
elect eight, and the senate five, of their respective 
members, who, with the marshal and the president, 
were to compose the committee of surveillance. 
The Diet then condescended to refer the proposed 
amendment to Chlopicki, to which he gave his consent 
without further hesitation. The tribunes were at 
this time filled with officers and academical guards, 
who, by their hisses and clamour, drowned all oppo- 
sition to Chlopicki. Lelewel, not satisfied with the 
discussion, had recourse to his habitual intrigue. 
Quitting the ministerial bench, he mingled alternately 
with the deputies and the public; and on being 
asked the motive of his strange conduct, replied in 



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MEETING OF THE DIET. 187 

a low voice, accompanying his words with indignant 
gestures, " Because affairs are conducted in an 
" unworthy manner." Yet he wanted courage to 
embody bis sentiments in one of those bursts of 
eloquence which sometimes decide a nation's fate. 
Ninety-three deputies voted for the unrestricted 
dictatorship, and fourteen, of which number was the 
marshal, qualified it by introducing the words " under 
" existing circumstances." One individual only, 
the deputy Morowski, opposed it altogether. Lele- 
wel, still declaring that in a discussion of such a 
nature he could not make known his real opinion, 
voted with the majority ! 

The act, proclaiming the insurrection to be a 
national affair, was then signed by all the deputies ; 
after which the marshal proposed that a manifesto of 
the nation to the rest of Europe should, be drawn 
up, setting forth the causes of the insurrection, and 
its object. As the precipitate vote on the dictator- 
ship had left no time for discussion, a committee, 
elected by the Diet, was authorised to publish, in 
unison with the committee of surveillance, that mani- 
festo, the political principle of which was solemnly 
inserted in the protocol of the Diet. The deputies 
then proceeded to the senate, where Chlopicki 
presented himself in order to be invested with the 
dictatorial power. 

On entering the royal castle, he placed himself 
close to the throne, whilst Prince Czartoryski thus 
addressed him — 



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188 MEETING OF THE DIET. 

" Honourable Dictator — ^The Diet confers upon 
** you, this day, the most dazzling testimony of 
" unlimited confidence that a man can receive from 
" his fellow citizens. Labour for the welfare of our 
" beloved country. Far from us be even the shadow 
" of suspicion, for we know your noble character, 
" and rely on your firmness, on your word as a 
" true Pole. In that word lies the pledge of your 
" glorious reward — ^your own unclouded fame, and 
" the happiness of our posterity. Both chambers 
" of the Diet entrust their authority to you." 

Ostrowski next spoke, and concluded his address 
with these remarkable words, as if he attempted 
to change the political creed of the Dictator, " Your 
" name augurs victory. You are destined to re- 
" conquer the independence of our country." 

Chlopickfs reply was in the following terms : — 
" Representatives of the nation, — I esteem myself 
** happy in the confidence you repose in me ; a life 
** would be too short to justify it. I accept the 
" dictatorship, because I see the salvation of the 
" country only in the unity of power. I will do 
" my utmost to realize the expectations of my 
" countrymen. I shall retain the power you 
" entrust to me until you shall judge fit to with- 
** draw it from me ; then, bowing to your decision, 
" I shall retire to private life, happy in the thought 
** of having consecrated my last exertions to my 
** coimtry." He then left the ancient dwelling 
of the kings of Poland, at nine in the evening, 



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MEETING OF THE DIET. 189 

invested with a power such as the Poles had never 
committed to any of their kings. The populace 
took off the horses, and would have drawn his 
carriage. To this, however, he would not consent, 
but could only avoid receiving this testimony of 
public esteem by getting out and walking through 
the streets, whilst the multitude filled the air with 
joyful acclamations. The city was immediately 
illuminated. 

The proceedings of the session of the 18th, were 
a re-echo of the national enthusiasm. The session 
of the 20th, proved, that it is sometimes easier to 
terrify or to blind an assembled body of men into 
taking a measure prejudicial to the public good, 
than to coerce the will of one resolute individual. 
Ostrowski's apprehension of domestic anarchy pro- 
cured the confirmation of Chlopicki as dictator. 
His wish to accustom the mind of the people to the 
authority of one individual, as the only means 
salvatory of the insurrection, was in itself most 
praiseworthy and patriotic ; but the confirmation of 
Chlopicki, whose antipathy for action resulting from 
his ignorance of the national force was known, 
proved a fatal transaction. 



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CHAPTER V. 

Second Period of the Dictatorship. 

About this time Chlopicki introduced a change 
in the administration. He substituted for the Pro- 
visional Government a Supreme National Council, 
to see to the execution of his decrees, to supply 
money for the treasury, food for the army, and to 
take measures for spreading the insurrection, and 
enlightening public opinion. 

No satisfactory communication having arrived 
from St. Petersburgh, Chlopicki once more dis- 
patched Colonel Wylezynski with a letter to the 
autocrat, stating, that he had re-assumed the power, 
lest it should fall into the hands of agitators, and 
assuring him " que la temp^te s'est calm^e.'' He ad- 
ded, however, that the same sentiment which united 
the troops under one standard, armed the capital, 
and penetrated, like an electric spark, into the pala- 
tinates, still animated all hearts. That the wish of 
the nation was not to dissolve all connection with 
Russia, but to receive guarantees for their own con- 
stitutional liberties, and the extension of them to 
the sister countries. " Should those liberties — not a 



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PATRIOTISM OF THE POLISH WOMEN. 191 

" concession on the part of the sovereign, but resulting 
" from a solemn contract between him and the 
" people — ^be finally refused, the nation was prepared 
" to risk all for the accomplishment of its dearest 
" wish — national independence." Urged, however, 
by Prince Czartoryski, not to depend too much on 
negociation, Chlopicki now began to introduce some 
useful reforms in the old army, and ordered several 
detachments to march towards Lithuania. He also 
showed himself oftener in public, and visited the 
fortress of Modlin. These indications of approach- 
ing war were hailed with joy by the citizens, who 
offered to equip a third regiment, to be called " The 
" Children of Warsaw ;" and the women proposed 
forming themselves into three companies, to follow 
the army, and in case of need, to contribute their 
assistance. But this idea not being approved either 
by their countrymen or the Dictator, they organised 
a society under the presidency of Madame Hoffman 
Tanska (eminent by her literary productions), for 
the care of the sick and wounded ; and all ranks, 
whether of the city or country, occupied themselves 
in preparing lint and other necessaries. Chlopicki 
also turned his attention to the mean» of procuring 
arms, and offered large premiums to those who should 
furnish them. In spite of a formal prohibition, some 
thousand stand of muskets had been imported from 
Austria. He also issued an order, that all the church 
bells which could be dispensed with should be con- 
verted into cannon, and the arsenal was in conse- 



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192 COURT OF TRIBUNES. 

quence soon stocked with metal. But, as under the 
Russian government, the manufacture of arms had 
been prohibited, much delay arose in the casting, 
owing to the inexpertness of the workmen, which 
was unjustly attributed by the public to secret dis- 
loyalty, and Chlopicki's neglect. Other complaints 
were also made of him. The Lithuanians resident 
in Warsaw had repeatedly solicited him to send 
troops to insurrectionize their province, or at least 
to allow them to organise a legion from amongst 
themselves, to which request he had always given 
the discouraging reply, that he had not cartridge for 
them. Many natives of Austrian Galicia, and of the 
Grand Duchy of Posen, particularly the collegians 
of Cracow, came to Warsaw to join the insurrec- 
tion, a step which much displeased the Dictator, as 
endangering his pending negociations ; and so deter- 
mined was he on sending them back, that they were 
obliged to enter the city by stealth. 

The public dissatisfaction was embittered by the 
continuance in office of many persons known formerly 
as Russian partisans, and the murmurs, at first only 
whisfpered, finally broke out in the very hearing of the 
dictator. Colonel Szyrma, one of his greatest sup- 
porters, then established a Court of Tribunes, 
to be chosen from among the academical guard. 
Their office was to discover and denounce to govern- 
ment such of the public functionaries who were either 
indifferent, or half-Russianized. Many trembled lest 
the noble youths should prove so many bloody St. 



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UKASE ISSUED BY NICHOLAS. 193 

Justs ; but Szyrma's popularity was so great, that 
even the Dictator thought it advisable to permit this 
bold innovation, and to promote its success. Szyrma 
commenced the publication of a periodical paper, 
called " The Journal of the Guard of Honour." 
His example was followed by others ; and the 
number of such periodicals in Warsaw which, pre- 
vious to the insurrection, did not exceed eight, soon 
increased to thirty, amongst which the Polish 
Courier, edited by several distinguished political 
writers, held undisputed pre-eminence. All these 
literary pugilists, from first to last, aimed their 
blows at the dictatorship, destroying, piece by 
piece, that power so admirably calculated to meet 
the emergency. But whilst Chlopicki's inactivity 
continued to be the theme of animadversion, the 
press found a fresh object for its bitterness in a 
proclamation published by Nicholas on the 1 8th 
of December, commencing thus : — " Poles ! an 
** infamous attempt has troubled the peace of your 
" country. Men, who dishonour the Polish name, 
" have conspired against the brother of your 
" sovereign, have trampled upon oaths, and blinded 
" the people to the dearest interests of your coun- 
" try." After thus stigmatizing the authors of 
the insurrection, the autocrat further commanded, 
1st. All Russians, prisoners, of the insurrection, 
to be set at liberty; 2nd. The council of admi- 
nistration to reassume its functions; 3rd. All the 
other authorities to pay it implicit obedience ; 



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194 PARTIES. 

' 4th. All the troops to assemble at Plock, and there 
await further orders ; 6th. The new levies to be 
immediately disbanded, and their arms delivered up 
to the proper authorities, &c. &c. Even the insult- 
ing and arrogant tone of this proclamation, which 
caused every patriot to thrill with indignation, did 
not suffice to awaken Chlopicki from his torpor, 
and to dispel the visions of peace which entranced 
him. At the very outbreak of the insurrection, its 
supporters formed two classes ; each animated by a 
spirit entirely opposed to that of the other. The 
one panted to march on — still on, — the other desired 
first to look around. The dictatorship was hailed 
by both; and Chlopicki, therefore, had it in his 
power to destroy the germ of disunion, by directing 
each to important objects. But, pent up in the 
streets of Warsaw, the insurrection was doomed 
either to languish, or to prey upon itself; internal 
discord became unavoidable, and parties fatal to 
the cause arose. Differences of opinion as to the 
best means of delivering the country, gradually 
became the distinctive marks of certain ranks and 
classes of society. Their origin may be discovered 
in the political changes which Poland had under- 
gone since her partition, and should rather be viewed 
as so many proje^cts for re-conquering the national 
independence, than considered as social theories. 

Some descendants of the ancient families still 
survived, forming a tie between the old Poland 
and the young ; when the latter burst her chains. 



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l^ 



ARISTOCRATS. ' 195, 



X- 



ancient Poland rose with her, — tlie grave of her 
thoughts opened. Prince Czartoryski, a descend- 
ant of the glorious dynasty of Jagellons, imper- 
sonates that sacred tie between the two worlds 
of Poland. Nobles without the privileges of caste, 
without court or courtiers, often impoverished by 
the stranger, sometimes distinguished, but never 
rendered more illustrious by the title of German 
Count or Baron*, they still enjoy an influence in 
Poland such as is elsewhere exercised only by a 
patrician or monied aristocracy. Many were there 
who, without questioning whether the government 
proceeded well or not, espoused the cause sanc- 
tioned by the names of a Czartoryski or a Radzi- 
will, &c., &c. These w^ere now designated as 
aristocrats. Possessed of material as well as moral 
influence, if the existence of a party could have been 
admitted, they constituted the only national one. 
— ^As during the reign of Napoleon, there had never 
been time for debates, which, besides , must have proved 
unavailing, no parliamentary reputation had survived 
the period of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw ; but the 
Diet of the constitutional kingdom could boast of 

* There is no titled nobility in Poland, except a few princely 
&milie8. According to Polish law, every nobleman assuming a 
foreign title lost the rights of citizenship. EqiM» Polanus par 
amnibuij nemini Mcundus (Polish noble, equal to all, inferior to 
none). Every Polish noble is a baron of the German empire^ 
according to a decree issued by the Emperor Leopold I., as an 
acknowledgment of services rendered to him by the Poles under 
Sobieski. 



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l96 CONSTITUTIONALISTS. 

two popular opposition leaders in the brothers 
Niemoiowski. Deeply versed in the English and 
French theories of constitutional government, they 
viewed the insurrection through the prism of the 
charter, which they wished to extend to the sister- 
countries. Their rallying word was : " Let the 
" constitutional king declare immediate war against 
" the absolute Czar." Some deputies sympathized 
with them, and formed what was styled the consti- 
tutional or Kalishian party; but, as on every import- 
ant occasion they voted with the aristocrats, their 
shadow party soon ceased to be observed. Another 
—the revolutionary party — still remained, which at 
one time comprehended the nation, the army, and 
more especially — as the authors of the insurrection — 
the ensigns. But when these last were dispersed 
in the different regiments, when Maurice Mochnacki, 
the advocate both of military and revolutionary ab- 
solutism, had been driven from the arena, this also 
lost its importance. Marauders from the late patri- 
otic club, idle politicians, or political pretenders, 
alone remained under the nominal presidency of 
Lelewel. To heap invective on the slumbering 
Dictator, to recite verses, and to riot at the Honoratka 
ooffee-rooms, was their political creed j no other 
could have been advanced. The dissensions already 
alluded to, which, though arising from pure mo- 
tives, did considerable mischief, by consuming 
much valuable energy, became more evident with 
the advance of the new year. The insurrection in 



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SPIES. 197 

Warsaw ought to have rolled on in a tranquil at- 
mosphere ; but instead of this the citizens were kept 
in a continual anxiety by the presence of the vile 
brood of spies and denunciators, beneath whose 
influence the nation had writhed for so many years. 
Some lingered in prison, while others were permitted 
openly to show themselves, and the idea of putting 
them to death was too revolting to be entertained by 
the government. The press teemed with bitter dis- 
cussions on this subject. The aristocrats maintained 
that revenge would be ungenerous— the constitu- 
tionalists, that they were amenable to no existing 
law — ^but the revolutionists denounced them as 
traitors, and demanded that capital punishment should 
be inflicted on them. There were no less than 6000 
of these wretches under the Russian government. 

The Committee of the Manifesto at length com- 
pleted its work. Its members, as well as those of the 
Supreme National Council, having affixed their sig- 
natures to the document, the Princes Czartoryski and 
Radziwill, and the deputy Ledochowski, waited on 
the Dictator, to inform him that it was ready to be 
printed* He strongly objected to the measure, and, 
with much irritation, threatened to publish a 
countermanifesto of his own. Ledochowski, how- 
ever, assured him that the manifesto would be imme- 
diately published, notwithstanding his opposition, 
and it was accordingly inserted the following day 
(3rd of January) in the Polish Courier, though with- 
out signatures. The contents, of the manifesto, the 



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198 MANIFESTO. 

eloquent and dignified tone of which, has been the 
theme of much and general approbation, maybe 
thus epitomised : — 

" The conditions forced on the Poles, by the 
** Congress of Vienna, having been violated by 
" Russia, in the so-called kingdom of Poland, as 
" also in the sister-countries, all legitimate connec- 
" tion between that power and the nation has in 
" consequence, ceased to exist, and the people are 
" become slaves, possessing the right to burst their 
" chains and forge them into arms." After an elo- 
quent exposition of the abuses which had driven 
the nation to this extremity, the manifesto thus 
proceeds — 

" The Polish people rise from ignominy and 
" degradation, with the firm resolution never again 
" to bend to the yoke they now throw off, and never 
" to lay down the arms of their ancestors until they 
" shall have re-conquered their independence; — 
** until they shall have insured to themselves the 
** enjoyment of that freedom which they demand, 
" under the two-fold right of their noble inheritance, 
" and by the pressing necessity of the times; — 
" until they shall have delivered their brethren from 
" the Russian yoke, and made them partakers in 
" their liberty and independence. 

" We are not influenced by any national hatred 
" against the Russians^ whose race and our own 
" have a common origin. There was a time when 
" we consoled ourselves for the loss of our inde- 



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MANIFESTO, 100 

" pendence by the reflection, that, although an union 

" under the same sceptre might be unfavourable to 

*^ our particular interests, it might be the means of 

" extending to a population of forty millions the 

*' enjoyment of free institutions*, now considered 

" objects of primary necessity throughout the civi- 

'' lized world, for the well-being both of monarchs 

^* and subjects. 

" So far from our ancient liberty and independence 

" having been prejudicial to our immediate neigh- 

** hours, we are fully persuaded, that they have ever 

" served as a balance and safeguard to Europe, and 

" will in that light be henceforth of higher import- 

" ance and utility than ever. Thus circumstanced, 

" we appear at the tribunal of sovereigns and of 

^* nations, in the entire conviction that the voice 

" both of policy and humanity will be listened to 

" in our favour. 

" Should it, however, happen that in this conflict, 

** of which the dangers and difficulties cannot 

" be denied, we are doomed to defend, unaided, 

" the general interests of civilization; still, confiding 

" in the justice of our cause, in our valour, and in 

" the never-failing aid of the Almighty, we shall 

^* fight for freedom to our last breath ; and should it 

" then appear that Providence has destined this land 

" to eternal slavery, every true Pole may cheer his 

** dying moments with the consolatory reflection, 

* See the first Diet under Alexander. 



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V 



.J- 



200 MANIFESTO. 

" that, if he was not permitted by Heaven to save his 
/^ country, he was, at least, by his heroism, in the 
\/ ^'^\ death-struggle, shielded for a time the nascent 
liberties of Europe." 

The basis of this manifesto is unsound. It derives 
^y ^ the rights of the Poles from the treaty of Vienna, 
which did but sanction the sixth partition of their 
country. Their right to rise and expel their inva- 
ders, based as it is on eternal justice,, is not to be 
proscribed or sanctioned by any treaty. The prin- 
ciple of deducing from the abuse of power, aright to 
shake off allegiance to such power, was, besides, a 
dangerous one. France and England might have 
reasoned, Austria and Prussia might have threatened, 
the autocrat into redressing the grievances of the 
Poles; and had Nicholas possessed more wit and less 
pride, he would have done it of himself, and thus 
have removed all ground for insurrection. There 
was also a great omission in the manifesto concerning 
the forfeiture of the Polish crown by Nicholas — 
and which the Committee had not been empowered 
to supply. 

On the 7th of January, Wylezynski returned from 
St. Petersburgh, bringing an order from the auto- 
crat, enjoining the strict execution of the ukase of 
the 18th of December. Nicholas was pleased also 
to thank Sobolewski, the President of the late Coun- 
cil of Administration, for his loyalty in having 
resigned office rather than consent to sign the order 
for the convocation of the Diet ; and, as a still fur- 



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LACa SZYRMA. 201 

ther proof of his loyalty, and that of the other 
members, he required their presence, dead or alive 
(morts ou vifs) at St. Petersburgh. On receiving 
this document, the Supreme National Council, and 
the Committee of Surveillance, again represented to 
Chlopicki the extreme risk to which he would expose 
the cause by further procrastination, and urged him 
to commence hostilities : but he still refused to take 
upon himself the responsibility of interrupting the 
pending negociations, and convoked the Diet for the 
17th, that the representatives of the nation might 
pronounce upon the fate of the country. As the 
Deputy Jezierski was soon expected back from his 
diplomatic mission, both the Council and the Com- 
mittee determined to await his arrival. Chlopicki, 
in the meantime, prepared for war. Instead of the 
two regimentaries he appointed four experienced 
generals, and ordered the moveable guard of safety 
to be formed into sixteen infantry regiments of three 
battalions each. He also withdrew the command 
of the Academical Guard from Lach Szyrma, 
and gave it to a veteran officer, upon the pretext that 
this sacred legion would soon be marched into the 
field ; but his real motive was the dread he had of 
the influence of the Tribunes. The noble youths 
were very unwilling to part with their commander, 
who, however, persuaded them to submit from the 
consideration that all rightful power ought to be 
obeyed. The Diet had acknowledged, by a vote 
of public thanks to Lach Szyrma, the invaluable 



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202 POLICY OF THE CZAR. 

services he had rendered to his country during that 
momentous period. 

The measures adopted at St. Petersburgh mean- 
while, were full of energy. On the first news of 
an insurrection in Warsaw, a loud huzza re- 
sounded through the empire, a cry of the hate 
which had existed for ages. Whilst the represen- 
tatives of the Poles asserted that they were not influ- 
enced by national animosity, the autocrat left no 
means untried to inflame the ignorant prejudices of 
the Russians, to awaken the deep-rooted antipathy 
of race, and to rouse their religious fanaticism. He 
called upon them to renew their oath of fidelity, and 
himself swore not to sheathe his sword until the last 
of the rebels should be punished. His audacity in- 
creased in proportion to the humanity and modera- 
tion of the Poles. Elate with pride and power, in 
a thundering ukase, addressed to the Russians on the 
29th of December, he thus expressed himself: — 
" Though already trembling in fear of the chastise- 
'* ment which awaits them, they (the Poles) dare 
" yet, for a moment, to think of victory ; and pro- 
" pose that we should place them on an equality 
" with ourselves! Russians, you know that we 
*' reject such a proposal with indignation. To the 
" first intelligence of their treason, your response 
" was a fresh oath of unshaken fidelity. One sen- 
'* timent alone animates all hearts ; the resolution to 
" spare nothing, to sacrifice all, even life itself, for 
" the honour of your emperor. Gody the defender of 



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NEGOCIATIONS. 203 

'* right, is with uSy and all-pofverful Russia mil be 
** able, by one decisive blow, to silence those who 
" have dared to disturb her tranquillity/' &c. Deeds 
confirmed his words. He slipped his dogs of war, 
and set all his force in motion against Poland, whilst 
no means were omitted to paralyze any attempt of 
insurrection in Lithuania. 

Such was the state of affairs, when Prince Lubecki 
and Jezierski reached St. Petersburgh on the 26th of 
December. They were detained a considerable time 
at Narva, and not permitted to proceed till Lubecki 
declared that it was only in his ministerial character 
that he now begged an audience of the emperor, in 
order to lay before him a report of the occurrences 
at Warsaw. Jezierski, on his part, demanded his 
audience in quality of a member of the Polish Diet. 
Lubecki had but one interview, and by what means 
the cunning minister accomplished his mission, re- 
mains unknown. Jezierski had several, at which 
Greneral Benkendorf was also present. The Polish 
envoy shrunk from displaying the whole truth to the 
monarch. " The insurrection in Warsaw," he told 
the emperor-king, " was caused by a small number 
" of young officers and students. The correctness 
" of this statement was proved by subsequent events 
'* not less than by the circumstances of its outbreak, 
" for the insurgents had no other leaders than 
•* lieutenants. At the call * to arms, the Russians 
^^ * murder us,' the insurgents, were, however, joined 
" by the fourth of the line, the battalion of sappan. 



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204 NEGOCIATIONS. 

** and the populace; but their measure showed neither 
" a decided object nor any decided plan ; and it was 
" not until two days after that the citizens armed, in 
" order to protect their property from the mob." — 
" I understand," replied Nicholas, " why the citizens, 
" in the first instance, organized the guard of safety ; 
** but what reason can be given for the armament 
" throughout the country ? — for the warlike prepara- 
^* tions ? — against whom are they arming ? Do they 
" presume to carry on war against me ?" — " The 
" fear lest all the nation should be punished for the 
** fault of some individuals," replied Jezierski» 
" has united all against the common danger, and 
" this fear can alone be removed by a word of mercy, 
" pronounced by the sovereign." — *^ I am king of 
" Poland, and will continue so," rejoined Nicholas ; 
" but I will listen to no concession demanded of 
** me by armed men. Am I to enter into negocia- 
" tions with my subjects ! — ^I, their legitimate sove- 
** reign ? Am I to endure that they prescribe to 
" me the conditions under which they will continue 
" my subjects? I do not, however, wish to act 
" rashly. Surest some means worthy of a king 
" of Poland who is at the same time emperor of 
^* Russia, calculated to bring the affair to an amicar 
** ble arrangement." Jezierski remaining silent, 
Nicholas gave him to understand that he wished the 
Poles themselves to remove the difficulties ; in other 
words, that in case they would erect scaffolds for the 
authors of the insurrection, he might then be per- 



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NEGOCIATIONS. 205 

suaded to treat with them. Finding that Jezierski 
still continued silent, he proceeded to touch on the 
subject of the re-union of the provinces, and de- 
clared it to be out of the question, as he ought not 
to favour one part of his dominions by injuring the 
other. Jezierski then replied that he was not pre- 
pared to discuss such profound mysteries of policy; 
and was dismissed with a solemn declaration, on the 
part of Nicholas, that the first cannon fired by the 
Poles would be the decree for their destruction, and 
with a permission for him to write to General Ben- 
kendorf whenever he wished to make any further 
communication. Jezierski availed himself of this 
permission to address a letter to the general, in which 
he repeated his previous statement of the origin of 
the insurrection, and suggested, as a means of re- 
storing tranquillity, some better guarantee of the 
constitution in the kingdom, and of the rights of 
nationality in the sister-countries. With a thrill of 
emotion, he added, that, although neither diplomatist 
nor statesman, he could not abstain from observing 
that the constitution had been in many instances 
violated by the government. On the margin of this 
letter, Nicholas wrote, with his own hand, various 
comments, such as — *^ I did not violate my oath — 
" the nation, on the contrary, has broken,its oath to 
*^ me, and I may, in consequence, consider myself 
" released from mine. I have not, however, done 
** so, and this is all I can now say. A different Une 
" of conduct would be an unpardonable weakness 



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206 NEGOCIATIONS. 

" in me, and to which no power shall force me. 
" Let them submit to my mercy ^ and they shall be 
" happy — ^the word of a monarch, able to appreciate 
" honour^ has its weight," &c. 

Lubecki remained at St. Petersburgh. Jezierski 
returned to Warsaw on the 13th of January, with 
the above letter, commented upon by the autocrat. 
Meeting on his way back a considerable number of 
Russian troops, he was so struck with alarm, that, on 
entering Poland, he did not scruple to say, that the 
Russians, with their tschakoes alone, would beat the 
Poles, and for this coward expression he narrowly 
escaped hanging at several post stations. This dis- 
couraging intelligence aggravated the general dissa- 
tisfaction with the man who had so long held the 
insurrection in bonds. The popular displeasure 
vented itself in rumours of an ultra revolution, and 
Lelewel, the antiquarian, was pointed out as its 
author. Colonel Dobrzanski accused him to the 
Dictator, who ordered both the denunciator and the 
denounced to be arrested. The National Council, 
on this outrage being offered to one of its members, 
tendered its resignation ; but, fortunately, the whole 
affair proved to be merely an invention of some 
friend of the Dictator, and it dropped without entail- 
ing any serious consequences. 

On the 16th, the Committee of Surveillance waited 
on Chlopicki, to learn his opinion of the intelligence 
received from St. Petersburgh. He abruptly declared 
he would no longer retain his power, as the praises 



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RESIGNATION OF THE DICTATOR. 207 

bestowed on him by the emperor might diminish 
the confidence reposed in him by the public. He 
advised that the negociations should be pursued 
through the mediation of Prussia, and even refused 
to lead the army into the field, as, when opposed to 
the giant force of Russia, it must, in his opinion, 
inevitably be vanquished in the first encounter. The 
catastrophe, he concluded, obvious as it was, would, 
however, be imputed to him alone, and might cast 
upon him the stigma of treachery. Some of the 
Committee then observed, that when assuming the 
dictatorship he had not calculated upon a diminu* 
tion of the national forces, and that he ought not 
now to withdraw from it the powerful support of his 
talents. Still more irritated, Chlopicki repeated that 
he would not command, as, in case of defeat, he 
should be called a traitor. Another member then 
suggested the augmentation of the ranks by scythe- 
men : — " Command thou thy scytheinen, for I will 
" not," cried the Dictator, absolutely furious ; and, 
losing all self-control, he added : — " If young men 
" can conscientiously believe themselves absolved 
" from their oath, I, for my part, shall remain faith- 
" ful to the sovereign :" and, with these words, he 
resigned the dictatorship, which he professed to have 
taken with the sole object of saving the country from 
civil anarchy. Prince Czartoryski endeavoured to 
induce him to retain at least the military command, 
and was warmly seconded by Ledochowski. " I 



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208 H^SIONATION OF THE DICTATOR. 

*^ should be a scoundrel in doing so," cried Chlopicki, 
still much agitated ; on which Ledochowski observed 
to him, that he would then be obliged to serve as a 
private. " Well, Ledochowski," rejoined the Dic- 
tator, " I will so fight, but thou must do it also." 
His rage exceeded all bounds : he struck the door 
so violently with his fist, that it gave away. All 
present were amazed at his conduct, and Prince 
Czartoryski observed, " C'est le soldat le plus mal 
" elev6 que j'aie vu." Their remonstrances at length 
calmed him, and he dismissed the delegates with civi- 
lity. The following day, the Conamittee of Surveil- 
lance made another effort to persuade him to retain 
the command of the army, but in vain. He would 
only consent to remaining unconditional Dictator, 
and was in consequence compelled to resign. Mean- 
time his physician sent to conjure the government 
not to give him any appointment, on the plea that 
he was actually labouring under insanity ; but this 
was afterwards proved to have been merely an arti- 
fice for the purpose of saving his life, which was in 
no small danger from the popular indignation. The 
Academical Guards, in particular, could not forgive 
his having so long abused the confidence of the 
nation ; but Colonel Szyrma interposed, and his 
influence persuaded these youths to spare the man 
whom they had so much honoured, and whose ob- 
stinacy, however fatal in its effects, proceeded from 
conscientious motives. They contented themselves 



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MEETING OF THE DIET, 



209 



k 



with confining him as a prisoner in his own resi- 
dence^ where he amused his captivity by reading 
novels. 

It must be recorded, to the honour of the Poles, 
that, in this hour of abandonment by him whom 
they had idolized as their only delivererg their cou- 
rage did not sink, but that their energy rose with 
the increasing danger. A total change of opinion 
ensued, however, respecting the form of government 
to be adopted. Their confidence in man was gone, 
since Chlopicki, in whom they had reposed unlimited 
trust, had not only disappointed the general .expecta- 
tion, but was even deprived of his senses, as it was 
reported in Warsaw and throughout the country. 
Not a single individual, therefore, but an inert insti- 
tution, a Dif t of one hundred and fifty dictators, was 
to be the nation's pilot in her passage from death to 
life. Fatal change — ^the unhappy consequence of 
Chlopicki's non-use. of the power entrusted to him. 

The Diet was opened by Prince Czartoryski on 
' the 19th. All the deputies and senators signed the 
manifesto of the Polish nation to Europe, after which 
Roman Soltyk moved that it should be completed. 
The first article deprived the family of Romanoff of 
the Polish crown; the second absolved all Poles 
from their oath of fidelity to Russia ; and the third 
proclaimed the sovereignty of the Polish natioii'; 
A {H^ofound silence of some minutes follow^ the 
reading of this motion, which was broken by the 
Deputy Morozewicz, proposing to refer it to tha 



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310 ELECTION OF THE OENERAUSSIITO. 

oonsideration of a Committee. At the next sitting, 
the Diet elected out of seven candidates Prince Rad^ 
ziwill Generalissimo of the Army. Considerations 
of policy determined this choice, the Prince being 
related to the Royal family of Prussia, and having 
great influence in Lithuania, where he was proprietor 
of vast estates. But a still more weighty reason 
with the Diet was the conviction that Chlopicki 
would assist no other than the Prince with his advice. 
Badziwill briefly acknowledged the honour with, 
" Such as I have been, such I shall be j" and ex- 
pressed his willingness to resign as soon as an abler 
warrior should be found. On the 24th they settied 
the privilege and degree of power with which the 
generalissimo was to be invested. He was autho- 
rized to appoint officers up to the rank of cdionels^ 
to institute courts^martial, to confer military decora* 
tions, and to have a seat in the government, with a 
casting vote on military subjects. He could be dis- 
missed only by the Diet. Not even in the time of 
the greatest liberty had the Diet ever appointed a 
generalissimo. An insurrectionary government ought 
to watch, map in hand, every step of the general-in- 
chief, and have power to dismiss him, if necessary> 
even on the field of battie. But such salutary pro- 
visions were overlooked by the Diet on this occasion. 
At the same meeting, Lelewel presented a petition 
from a considerable numb^ of Lithuanians and Vol- 
hynians then in Warsaw, that their countries might be 
admitted to share the struggle for the independence 



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PATRIOTIC SOCIETY. 211 

of all Polandy and that they might be authorized 
to organize a Lithuanio-Volhynian legion. Both 
requests were granted with acclamations, and a com- 
mittee for carrying on the affairs of those countries 
appointed, of which Lelewel was chosen president^ 
and Prince Radziwill, honorary president. Whilst 
not a day passed without the Diet taking some im*- 
portant measure, the worn-out revolutionists of the 
Honoratka, some idle politicians, such as abound in 
every capital, and a few of the wrecks of the patriotic 
club, embodied themselves in a society, to which they 
gave the name of " The Patriotic Society," under 
the presidency of Lelewel ; Roman Soltyk, and Mau^ 
rice Mochnacki, being elected vice-presidents. The 
latter, from having been the first to pronounce Chlo- 
picki a traitor, was now very popular with these 
would-be revolutionists. He availed himself of this 
to endeavour to do away with the Diet, or, at all 
events, to raise a Tarpeian rock for its members, by 
establishing a revolutionary commune. He found a 
zealous supporter in Adam Gurowski, an ex-count, 
a political weathercock, and bom demagogue. Cyni- 
cism, cosmopolitism, and obstinacy, were the ele- 
ments of his singular character. The society, how- 
ever, contained within itself the germ of its dissolu- 
tion, or, at least, of its inefficiency. Lelewel ima- 
gined that the proceedings of the society might be 
made to harmonize with those of the Diet; and so 
also thought Roman Soltyk, who joined the revolu- 
tionists, in order, as he said, to gain popularity j and 



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212 PATRIOTIC SOCIETY. 

the society, in consequence of their opinion, sent an 
address to the Diet to inform the latter of its exist- 
ence. " Away with your patriotic society — every 
" man in the nation is a patriot," cried the deputies, 
and rejected the address with scorn. Mochnacki had 
foreseen this insult, and flattered himself that it would 
rouse the energies of his associates. Convinced at 
last that the society was wholly devoid of what the 
French call du mouton dans le parity he left it for the 
bayonet. Gurowski did not yet lose all hope, and 
tried every means to agitate the citizens. Amongst 
other contrivances, he got up a funeral procession in 
honour of the celebrated bootmaker, Kilinski, who, 
in the time of Kosciuszko, headed the populace, and 
drove out the Russians, and was subsequently a 
colonel in the Polish army. But no procession 
could call forth such another bootmaker. Disgusted 
at his ill success, Gurowski determined to follow 
Mochnacki's example, but he wished first to create 
some alarm in the city. The 26th of January was 
fixed by the Diet for proclaiming the deposition of 
Nicholas, and Gurowski determined to have a funeral 
procession on that day in honour of the first Russian 
martyrs of liberty, executed in 1826. Both cere- 
monies were equally solemn, and equally unsuccess- 
ful. Russia still groans in slavery — ^Poland bleeds 
still under the iron sceptre of the Russian autocrat. 
The funeral procession commenced early in the 
morning. Thousands went out to gaze, as it moved 
from the chambers of the University. Some of the 



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PATRIOTIC SOCIETY. 213 

academical guard bore on their crossed muskets a 
coffin covered with black cloth, and adorned with 
wreaths of evergreens, and tricoloured flags. The 
celebrated names of Ryleyeff, Bestuzeff, Pestel, 
Muravieff, and Kochowski, glittered on five suits of 
armour. At the coffin head walked one of the 
academical guard, carrying the tricoloured flag, and 
three captains of the same guard acted as masters of 
the ceremony. An immense concourse of persons, 
military and civil, joined the procession. It stopped 
in the square of Sigismond, adjoining the Royal 
Castle, where the Diet was then engaged in debate ; 
and Gurowski, wearing a red cap with a white fea- 
ther, addressed the multitude in language which, had 
it been understood, might have produced a temble 
commotion. Similar addresses were delivered in 
several other places, and, finally, in a Greek chapel, 
' where a service was performed for the Russian mar- 
tyrs, without, however, producing any sensation. 
The cortege, after parading through the capital, 
returned to the place from whence it started. 

Whilst this was passing in the streets, the Diet 
was listening with indignation to the delivery of the 
diplomatic message, by Jezierski. The words writ- 
ten by Nicholas, " That he had faithfully observed 
*' the obligations transmitted to him by his prede- 
'" cesser, and that the Poles were guilty of high 
^^ treason," filled the measure of their resentment. 
Much laughter was excited by his statement, " That 
" the Poles had carried their ingratitude so far as to 



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214 DETHRONEMENT OF THE 

" turn against himself the pieces of artillery he had 
" sent them from Varna ;" and •' that he had spent 
" annually 14^000 ducats out of his own pocket in 
" carrying on their diplomatic affairs/' The de- 
puties observed that the expenditure alluded to was, 
no doubt, for the maintenance of spies. Such 
complaints were, indeed, ridiculous. Tlieir indig- 
nation was yet increased by two proclamations from 
the Russian field-marshal Diebitch-Zabalkanski. In 
the first, addressed to the Polish nation, he stigma- 
tized all Poles as criminals, and offered them no 
alternative but that of unconditional submission to 
the mercy of his master, or the scaffold. In the 
other — ^to the Polish army — he endeavoured to 
flatter the soldiers, by alluding to the well known 
chivalry and loyalty of Polish warriors, and was 
profuse in his promises of reward to all who should 
join him, and assist in bringing the guilty nation to 
obedience. The Marshal of the Diet, availing him- 
self of this moment of indignation, introduced in a 
few energetic words the subject of the deposition. 
" Diplomatic communications,'' he said, ^* as well 
" as the proclamations of Diebitch, have fully de- 
" monstrated that the object of the insurrection 
" cannot be attained without war. The decisive 
" moment is come; the Czar of Muscovy has 
" commanded his hordes to invade our soil, to 
" rivet again on a freebom nation chains they have 
" just burst. It is not the first time that thebarba- 
^* rians have strewed our country with their bones^ 



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EMPEROR NICHOLAS. 215 

** and fertilized it by their blood. Shall we, terror- 
" stricken, or bowed down by slavish habits, still 
*^ acknowledge Nicholas as our lawful sovereign? 
** No ; he was the £rst to break, the oath imposed 
*^ upon us by the sword. That oath alone which 
^^ the Poles swore to the Piasts, to the Jagellons, 
*^ and to their freely elected kings, should bind us 
'^ now. Let Europe cease to regard us as rebellious 
" subjects — ^let her recognise in us an independent 
^' nation, which must exist in accordance with the 
" rights vouchsafed to it by God." When the 
marshal had concluded, a solemn silence prevailed, 
and his brother then added, ^' As Nicholas himself 
^^ cannot conscientiously deny that the constitu- 
^' tion has been violated, let the prophetic words 
^^ be fulfilled which my father uttered, when, as 
** president of the Senate, he received the Consti- 
" tutional Charter from the Imperial Commissary, 
** ^ Woe to him who shall violate it ! * ** Ledo- 
chowski next arose, and exclaimed, in that powerful 
voice which soon resounded in St. Petersbui^h, 
and was echoed far and wide, ^^ That which is in 
" our hearts, let our lips utter. Let us with one 
" voice proclaim — ^Away with Nicholas!" All 
present, impelled by the force of his expression, 
unanimously echoed the words, " Away with 
" Nicholas ! " and Niemcewicz immediately drew 
up the act of deposition, which was signed by the 
deputies and senators. 
This great measure did not, however, produce 



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216 NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. 

much impression on the public. It came too late. 
All attention was turned to the field of Grochow ; to 
those stately woods, which, in a wide semi-circle, 
gird the capital of Poland; those woods, dark and 
gloomy as the nation's fate, through which the 
savages of Suwaroff had once come to butcher the 
population of Praga. Still the deposition, though 
so unheeded, was an heroic reply to the insulting 
language of Diebitch. 

After a discussion of four days, the Diet, on the 
29th, completed their arrangements concerning the 
government, which they resolved should be called 
the National Government of the kingdom of Poland. 
The constitutional royalty was conferred on five 
persons. Measures were to be decided upon by a 
majority, and in case of the votes being equal, in the 
absence of the president, a member of the govern- 
ment, elected by the smallest sum of votes, was to 
go out. The same member was also to cede his 
place to the Generalissimo, whenever the latter 
should think proper to make use of his privilege. 
Prince Czartoryski, ever the zealous advocate for 
a vigorous government, objected to this arrangement, 
as inadequate to realize this paramount condition;' 
Yet he gave his consent to it for the moment, in the 
conviction that the Diet would not contrive any 
thing better. The deputies, indeed, impressed with 
the fatal consequences of the dictatorship, so much 
dreaded concentrated power, that they even desired 
to establish a committee, consisting of thirteen 



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ADDRESS OF PKINCE CZARTORYSKI^ 217 

members, to superintend the government. Prmce 
Czartoryski was unanimously elected president of 
the government, and the other members chosen were 
the deputies Vincent Niemeiowski, Theophile 
Morawski, the Kalishians, Stanislaus Barzykowski, 
the aristocrat, and Lelewel, the revolutionist; — 
the smallest number of votes were for the lat- 
ter, and he would probably not have been elected 
at all, but for the fear entertained by the de- 
puties that he might otherwise prove a Robe- 
spierre to them. A groundless fear, for Lelewel was 
still, even in the midst of the political storm, nothing 
more or less than an historian and an antiquarian— 
at best, a tool in the hands of others. 

The next day (30th of January), at a meeting 
of both chambers. Prince Czartoryski thanked the 
representatives of the nation for the high trust they 
had reposed in him j and, in an eloquent address, 
exposed his political profession, which was, at that 
time, an object of much attention in Europe. During 
his long career of public life, it had been his constant 
^dm to re-establish Poland by the instrumentality of 
Russia herself. The late events, he said, had 
entirely destroyed this expectation. The benefits 
his policy had procured to his country, were great. 
The guarantee of her nationality by the treaty of 
Vienna, the national spirit in the sister-coimtries 
fostered by education, the liberal diarter and in- 
stitutions of the kingdom; in short, the gradual 
preparation of a force adequate to the acccgmplish- 



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\ 




218 POLAND DECLARED 

ment of the crowning act, national independence, 
were the fruits of his long and arduous labours. 
^* Heaven," said the minister Kaunitz, " is a hun- 
" dred years in forming a great mind for the resto- 
" ration of an empire." Poland would have been 
restored in half that time, had Heaven blessed her 
in Chlopicki with a warrior as great as Czartoryski 
was a statesman* He was educated in England, in 
the principles of the enlightened Fox, then in their 
ascendancy. To a profound knowledge of the 
world, as well as to that derived from study, he joins 
courage superior to all trials. Virtuous, penetrating 
in his judgment of human afiairs, remarkable for 
his modesty and want of pretension, notwithstand- 
ing his lofty descent ; without ambition, or ambi- 
tious only of doing good j — ^possessing an attractive 
and imposing person, with a certain expression of 
melancholy in his countenance, especially in the 
eyes ; — ^the last of those Poles who preferred electing 
kings to being themselves elected ; — ^Prince Adam 
Czartoryski is a noble type of the misfortunes of 
his countrv, and of the services she has rendered to 
the world. 

The Diet completed its insurrectionary legislation 
on the 4th of February, by declaring Poland a Con- 
stitutional Monarchy; and that throne, once desired 
by all the sovereigns of Europe, was again vacant. 
But it had now no charms for foreign princes. The 
road to it lay through bloody battles. Military 
absolutism, too, was out of credit \ the idea of a 



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A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY. 219 

l*evolutioiiary commune was abhorred; the only 
wise measure would have been to proclaim one of 
the nation king, and this would have tripled the 
strength of the insurrection, and rendered it at once 
intelligible to the world. Instead of which, the 
constitutional monarchy, rendered inefficient by the 
distribution of its administration amongst five per- 
sons, influenced by as many different opinions, was 
the feeble engine opposed to the absolutism and 
Jacobinical measures of the Russian cabinet— that 
cabinet which never despairs of obtaining its object^ 
and hesitates not to lie, to poison, and to bribe in 
the pursuit of it. But gunpowder possesses a re- 
vivifying power, and Polish bayonets may yet repair 
the errors of Polish policy. 



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CHAPTER VI. 

Impression produced in Europe by the Insurrection. 
Result of Diplomatic Negociations. 

The first report of the transactions of the 29th 
of November, caused much amazement in Europe. 
The temerity of the Poles was the theme of all 
discourse. Ignorance had exaggerated the number 
of the Russian troops to at least a million of men, 
and it was believed that the Czar's nod would suffice 
to bring the Poles to obedience. The continental 
press was silent, partly from deficiency of correct 
information, partly from want of encouragement. 
In Germany, the land of literature, par excellenccy 
it laboured under a strict censorship ; and all idea of 
awakening, through its medium, public opinion in 
favour of the Poles, as on a former occasion for the 
Greeks, was at the moment wholly out of the 
question. In France, too, even the most liberal 
papers spoke with extreme reserve of their insurrec- 
tion, and treated it as " a mere sign of the times to 
" monarchs." A few well-turned phrases of sym- 
pathy with the brave Poles constituted all the 
tribute paid by the French journalists to their once 
glorious companions in arms. 

Next to Russia, Prussia was the state most 



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HOSTILITY OF PRUSSIA. 2Bl 

nearly concerned in the affair. The awkward situa- 
tion of her territory, and the apprehension of revo- 
lutionary movements in the Rhenish provinces, and 
in the Grand Duchy of Posen, caused her no 
small degree of perplexity. In a ministerial coun- 
cil immediately called at Berlin, General GroUman 
advised the king to march his troops into Poland, 
to suppress the rebellion, and at the same time 
to insist on Russia redressing the grievances which 
had excited it The old monarch, however, did 
not relish the bold proposal, and being father-in-p 
law to Nicholas, was easily persuaded to become 
his active ally. The Berlin Official Gazette, from 
which the press of other countries derived its 
intelligence, misrepresented and vilified the Poles 
and their cause. The Prussian Consul was recalled 
from Warsaw, and money sent to Poland was seized 
by the Prussian authorities. Not only were the 
natives returning home from France, England, and 
Italy imprisoned in Prussia, but even foreigners 
proceeding to Poland were sent back by the govern- 
ment. These acts of hostility were crowned by a 
cabinet order from the king himself, on the 6th of 
February, forbidding all Poles of the Grand Duchy 
to enter Poland on pain of forfeiting their property ; 
but, notwithstanding this prohibition, many indivi- 
duals, of both sexes, repaired to Warsaw. Colonel 
Szyrma, the ex-commander of the academical 
legion, sent by the government to England with the 
manifesto, was arrested and imprisoned for several 
weeks at Breslau ; and, on the false report that the 



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alS FRIENDLY DISPOSITION QF AUSTRIA. 

Russians had taken Warsaw, he was escorted by 
Prussian gens-d'annes to the Polish frontier, to be 
delivered to the Cossacks, and this breach of the law 
of nations was yet further aggravated by his being 
compelled to sign a declaration that he would never 
again enter the Prussian territory*. 

Austria did not partake the anxiety of Prussia* 
Always apprehensive of Russia, by whose dominions 
she is daily becoming more encircled^ she left her 
frontiers open to the Poles during a full month, and 
would probably have continued to do so^but for some 
revolutionary symptoms in Italy, which she dreads 
even more than Russian power. Influenced by 
Prince Constantine Czaxtoryski, the brotlier of Prince 
Adam, the Imperial family manifested friendly dis-> 
positions towards Poland ; and all the antagonists of 
Prince Mettemich. who was in the Russian interest, 
seized this opportunity to endeavour to force him 
out of ofBce. Many Hungarian and Bohemian 
noblemen protected the Poles j but, on the other 
hand, every Pole denounced by the agents of the 
RuBsian ambassador, TatiszczefT, was immediately 
sent out of Vienna by Mettemich's order, or for- 
bidden, to eater. Prince Constantine still laboured 
to overcome Mettemich's antipathy, cherishing the 
hope that a victory gained by the Poles would 

* The Pnissian gens-d'annes were enjoined, on delivering 
the colonel to the Cossacks, to take a receipt for him, as for a 
bale of goods ; thus anticipating what has been since done by 
the order of the king with regard to the Polish soldiers delivered 
up to Rusena. 



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POlilSH ENVOY AT PARIS. 2S3 

induce the old emperor to give*them some decided 
mark of friendship. 

But a more efTective support than that of Austria 
was expected from France^ between whom and 
Poland the most friendly relations had always 
existed. The elder branch of the Bourbons were 
ever friendly to the Poles, and, since the July 
revolution, the younger had been considered by 
them as their yet more natural ally. At the very 
commencement of the insurrection. Monsieur Wolidd 
had been sent to Paris as Polish envoy. He found 
the ministry of Lafitte in much perplexity, harassed 
on one side by the republicans and legitimists, 
together with the affairs of Belgium ; and, on the 
other, compelled by Russian insult, to augment the 
military force, which the exiled branch had left in 
very ill condition. Wolicki therefore was well re- 
ceived by Sebastiani, to whom the insurrection was 
a welcome occurrence j and who, having once com- 
manded a corps in the Polish army, felt confident 
that some months must' elapse before the Russians 
could restore tranquillity. The cabinet of St. Peters** 
burgh, however, always on its guard, took care to 
cool the nascent sympathy, by recognising the sov^ 
reignty of Louis Philippe, which it had, till then, 
deferred doing, under various pretences. This im«- 
portant point gained, Sebastiani intimated to Wolicki, 
that a deputation having been sent to St Petersburgh, 
it might be hoped that the Poles would come to a 
friendly arrangement with Russia, and, consequently. 



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2S4 FRENCH MISSION TO ST. PBT£BSBURGH« 

the interference of » foreign power in their behalf 
would only prejudice their cause. The envoy ex- 
plained that the deputation was merely intended to 
convince Europe that the Poles did not object to 
negociations for peace; but that, considering the aver* 
sion of Russia to make concessions, it was but too 
certain that the sword alone must decide the ques- 
tion. On the 15th of January, Lafayette brought 
forward the Polish cause in the Chamber of Deputies, 
and energetically called upon the government not to 
abandon the nation. The ministry having so modi- 
fied the principle of non-intervention, that it now 
excluded only armed interference, complied, in some 
degree, with the popular wish; and the Duke of 
Montemart was sent to St. Petersburgh, with instruc- 
tions to keep within the limits of the treaty of 
Vienna. On his way he met near Berlin a Polish 
agent, sent expressly to him from Warsaw. On 
learning from this man, that the deposition of 
Nicholas was in contemplation, he requested him to 
hurry back to Warsaw to stop the measure. On his 
arrival, however, the deposition was already pro- 
claimed, and thus the duke's mission ended before 
he reached St. Petersburgh. National sympathy 
^ow displayed itself more powerfully in France. 
The speeches of Lafayette, Bignon, and General 
liamarque, awakened great interest in the Polish 
cause, and much contributed towards forming a 
committee, under the presidency of the former, for 
supplying the Poles with arms and money. The 



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POLISH ENVOY IN LONDON. 225 

Committee also published an address from the French 
nation to the Poles, and the omnipotent voice of the 
press was now heard in a louder tone. From these 
circumstances the hope rose high in Poland, that 
France would not desert her sister in the hour of 
need. 

The Marquis Wielopolski had still less success in 
London. As the Whigs had just taken their mag- 
nanimous resolution of preserving peace at any price, 
the Grey administration, once so zealous for the 
independence of Poland, now refused even to join 
France in insisting upon the observance of the treaty 
of Vienna. On the publication of the manifesto, the 
English press, however, warmly advocated the rights 
of the Poles ; and ' The Times' especially thundered 
against " the blasphemous, hypocritical, and barba- 
** rous manifestoes of the Russian autocrat." 

The mission to Sweden was a total failure. The 
king, whose legitimacy was endangered by the pro- 
tection afforded by Austria to Prince Vasa, was 
•entirely under Russian influence, particularly since 
the visit of the Prince Royal Oscar to St. Peters- 
burgh ; and the Polish envoy, Count Roman Zaluski, 
was not even allowed to land in the Swedish terri- 
tory. Thus, after two months of harassing expecta- 
tion, the Poles found themselves with no other allies 
than those they possessed at the commencement of 
the insurrection — confidence in their own valour, 
and trust in the Almighty protector of right. 

Q 



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CHAPTER VII. 

The War. 

At the opening of the campaign, the principal 
army of the Poles consisted of 35,700 infantry, 
10,600 cavalry, 3000 artillery, with 136 gmis, and 
one battalion of sappers, amounting in all to 50,000 
men. The garrisons of Praga, Modlin, and Zamosc, 
mustered in all 10,000 troops. General Dwernicki, 
with a corps of 2800, and six pieces of artillery, and 
General Sierawski, with 3000 scythemen, were ap- 
pointed to protect the left side of the Vistula above 
Warsaw. The troops left the environs of the capital 
in the beginning of February. They marched through 
the streets between two immense lines formed by the 
members of the National Government, the senators, 
the deputies, and a great multitude of every age, sex, 
and rank. Shouts of exultation, and the national 
hymns sung by the people, rendered this scene yet 
more impressive. One occurrence in particular con- 
tributed to render that day memorable in the annals 
of Poland. When the fourth of the line was about 
to depart, the soldiers, knowing how scanty was their 
stock of powder, and how great the number of the 



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THE FOURTH OF THE LINE. 227 

enemy, threw themselves on their knees before their 
colonel, and entreated him to allow them to fight 
with the bayonet only, and to lead them wherever 
danger would be greatest. This regiment had been 
a favourite with the Grand Duke Constantine, and 
was so well trained, that every man belonging to it 
was reckoned a perfect master of arms*. Prince 
Radziwill then addressed the following proclama- 
tion to the army : — " Companions in arms ! With 
" the impatience of outraged heroism, you have 
" awaited the hour for avenging your country's 
" wrongs — that hour is arrived! Every hour of 
" inaction seemed to you a century of endurance. At 
" length your prayers have been heard. The enemies 
" of our freedom behold you — their presumption 
^^ prepares for you a career as glorious as those of 
" Czarnecki,Sobieski,andKosciuszko. Confiding in 
" tJieir numbers, the satellites of the Czar imagine 
" you terror-struck. Undeceive them — teach them 
" that the Pole never counts the battalions of his 
^^ enemy, but measures only the degree of his 
" arrogancef." 

The force destined by the Russians for the invasion, 
amounted, according to their own statement, to 
200,000 men, with 400 cannon. But this number, 
purposely overstated, in order to impress Europe 

* The privates of this regiment offered for the service of the 
country thirty roubles each ; the proceeds of their savings during 
seven years. 

t Chlopicki accompanied Radziwill into the field, and in fact 
commanded under the name of the prince. 



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228 RUSSIAN INVASION. 

with an idea of their power, diminished, after their 
boast of finishing all by a single battle, had been 
silenced by Polish valour. At the commencement 
of the war, there were not, in fact, more than 150,000 
troops, with 400 pieces of artillery. On the 6th of 
February, they passed the frontier of the kingdom 
at three different points. Prince Szachowskoi, at 
the head of 25,000 grenadiers, invaded the northern 
extremity. The great army, under the immediate 
command of Diebitch, followed the chauss^e of 
Ostrolenka, while General Geismar, at the head of 
9000 cavalry, and General Kreutz, with 6000 cavalry, 
entered the palatinate of Lublin. In compliance 
with the will of his Imperial master, Diebitch made 
a plan calculated to finish the whole campaign in 
twenty days. Szachowskoi was to cross the Vistula 
by Plock, and march straight to Warsaw — ^Geismar 
and Kreutz were to do the same above the capital ; 
and the great army, advancing by the chaussee from 
Ostrolenka, were to drive towards Praga the Polish 
troops. These latter were joined, on their retreat, 
by thousands of the population, flying at the ap- 
proach of the Asiatic hordes. On the &th of 
February, the thaw having unexpectedly commenced, 
the enemy halted during the 10th, to ascertain whe- 
ther it would be temporary or permanent. The 
latter proved the case ; and Diebitch considering it 
hazardous to carry on the war between two such 
considerable rivers as the Bug and the Narew, sur- 
rounded by marshes, transferred the line of opera- 
tions to the chaussee of Siedlce. On the 13th, 



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BATTLE OF LIVIEC, 229 

Rosen made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the 
river Liviec. Peter Wysocki, with one battalion 
and two pieces of cannon, opposed his passage 
during the whole day. On that memorable occasion 
the first gun was fired by the Poles, a shot which was 
to decide the fate of their country. In the evening 
they abandoned their position, which was the only 
point where any local obstacle could impede the 
march of the Russians to Praga. During the three 
following days the great army remained stationary, 
in order to allow the two wings to come up. 

General Geismar advanced rapidly through the 
palatinate of Lublin towards the Vistula, intending 
to cross at Pulawy. General Dwernicki, to whom 
the defence in this quarter was entrusted, passed to 
the right bank, and on the 14th, he fell in with his 
entire corps, near the town of Stoczek. The Polish 
force consisted of only 2000 cavalry and 800 in-- 
fantry, both newly equipped, — but they were the 
descendants of those Poles who once told their king 
(Sobieski) that " should heaven fall, they would 
" prop it with their lances.*'' After a short can- 
nonade, Dwernicki, exclaiming " Poland is not lost 
*^ while we live!" attacked two Russian columns 



* The Bussiaiis are robbing even the history of Poland, and 
have lately made use of the same expression in their negociations 
with the Circassians. Bossuet thought so highly of the Polish 
cavalry, that he even said that its defeat would be a proof that 
Heaven had vdthdrawn its favour. — See his " Discours sur THis- 
** toire Universelle."' 



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230 BATTLE OP STOCZEK. 

with indescribable impetuosity, and the victory was 
decided in less than a quarter of an hour. The 
Russians fled in disorder, leaving 400 killed and 600 
prisoners, besides 1 1 guns. The loss of the victors 
was trifling, only 16 killed and 18 wounded. This 
first success was hailed with the utmost joy. Sol- 
diers and officers mutually embraced, and Dwemicki 
reminding his men that he had discharged his pro- 
mise of leading them at once against their enemies, 
congratulated them on their having fulfilled their's, 
by beating them. Geismar did not stop in his flight 
until he reached the great army, but Dwernicki could 
not pursue, as the corps of Kreutz had already 
crossed the Vistula, and was advancing towards 
Warsaw. He therefore re-passed the river, and 
overtook Kreutz at Nowawies on the 17th of Feb- 
ruary. A combat there ensued still shorter than 
the last, in which the Polish lancers soon broke the 
squadrons of Russian dragoons ; and Kreutz having 
lost four pieces of artillery and several hundred pri- 
soners, hastened to re-cross the river. The approach 
of night saved him from total destruction. Dwer- 
nicki, however, dared not profit by his victory, as 
another Russian corps threatened to cross near 
Warsaw. 

On the 17th, the great eurmy again moved- forward; 
the Poles retiring, in order to concentrate their forces 
in the environs of Praga. "Hie same day, Rosen's 
corps of 30,000 men came up with a Polish division 
under General Skrzynecki, occupying a strong posi-r 



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BATTLE OF DOBRE, 231 

tion in the marshes at Dobre. A brilliant action 
took place. Eight thousand Poles resisted for nine 
hours a force four times their number. It was on this 
occasion that the fourth of the line performed their 
first exploit in arms, by attacking in single compa- 
nies the Russian battalions, and driving them back 
at the point of the bayonet. The Russians lost 
1500 killed and wounded , the Poles comparatively 
few. Skrzynecki did not quit his position until he 
had ascertained that General Zymirski, retiring 
along the chaussee, was no longer in danger of being 
intercepted on his way to Praga. On the 19th, the 
Polish troops drew up on the plains of Grochow, 
where the ex-dictator had determined to risk an 
engagement. Zymirski and Szembek's divisions 
were stationed on both sides of the chaussee, near the 
inn of Waver, where the enemy was expected to 
emerge from the wood, and were ordered to engage 
in the conflict only so far as should suffice to draw 
the enemy to Grochow. About ten in the morning 
the Pahlen corps arrived, as was anticipated, and was 
preparing to occupy a position on the skirts of the 
wood, when Szembek attacked them with such impe-^ 
tuosity that they were thrown back with disorder, but 
on being reinforced tljey returned and pressed him so 
closely, that Zymirski found it necessary to bring 
up his division, when the Russians were a second 
time repulsed, and lost two standards and six can- 
non. They next had recourse to their numerous 
cavalry, and charged with twenty squadrons, but 



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232 POSITION OF THE POLES. 

General Lubienski, at the head of two regiments 
of lancers, at once dispersed them. Chlopicki find- 
ing that the combat was not proceeding according 
to the plan he laid down, ordered the generals to 
withdraw to Grochow, and the retreat was executed 
in perfect order, a general cannonade on both 
sides terminating the action. 

On the following day the Polish troops took a 
very strong station. Their right wing was protected 
by the Vistula and the marshes, and on the left of 
the chaussee stood a little wood of elders, bidding 
defiance as it were to the opposite forest, which 
seemed ready to fall upon it. Here was the central 
point of their position, to which the wood was the 
key, for the enemy's columns could not advance 
along the chaussee whilst it remained in possession 
of the Poles; the whole formed a semi-circle, of 
which Praga was the focus, its strength increasing 
as its radii shortened, whilst the elder wood inter- 
posed a banier which threatened to divide the 
forces of the enemy. The position of the Rus- 
sians was equally strong, being protected by the 
Vistula, the marshes, and the forest, at the 
edge of which a range of hills formed a kind of 
natural fortification, well adapted for their artillery, 
which, therefore, besides being thrice as numerous as 
that of the Poles, had now also the advantage in 
position. Yet the latter not only maintained its 
ground, but gained immortal honour. 

Early in the morning of the 20th, the Russians 



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BATTLE OF GROCHOW. 233 

opened the battle by a formidable cannonade, which 
they kept up till noon. Diebitch then, with his 
infantry, made repeated attacks on the elder wood, 
especially directing his operations on the left side. 
The 4th of the line defended this post of honour, 
and as the enemy's battalions approached they were 
successively repulsed at the point of the bayonet^ 
Many Russian regiments were on that day reduced 
to single battalions. At length, exhausted by un- 
successful attacks, the enemy terminated their efforts 
with a cannonade along their whole line. Diebitch 
then discovered that his expectations of victory, 
by means of masses of infantry and numerous 
artillery, were vain. The gallant conduct of 
Dwemicki had frustrated a considerable part of his 
plan, and his troops, fatigued, and wanting provi- 
sions, sensibly diminished. He found himself com- 
pelled to await the arrival of Szachowskoi's corps, 
and the next day condescended to demand a suspen- 
sion of hostilities for three days, under pretext of 
burying the dead. General Witt, who was sent for 
this purpose to the Polish camp, taking occasion to 
express his astonishment that two friendly nations 
should shed their blood in a quarrel brought about 
by a band of mere youths, was answered by General 
Krukowiecki as became a Pole, " That far from con- 
^^ demning the heroic self-devotion of their sons, 
*^ the fathers would endeavour to consummate, by 
'^ their judgment and experience, the virtuous and 
" courageous deed they had begun." An armistice 



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234 CAMP OF GROCHOW* 

of only three hours was then accorded. The Polish 
camp presented just then a very remarkable specta- 
cle. Fathers, mothers, and sisters came to embrace 
their sons and brothers, and to look upon the field 
pf glory which might yet prove their tomb and that 
of their country. The vicinity of Warsaw afforded 
great conveniences to the Polish troops: the 
wounded received every assistance, ladies of the 
highest rank superintending. Their camp was 
abundantly supplied with comforts, and even luxu-r 
ries ; whilst the enemy's soldiers, in spite of the 
violence with which they endeavoured to extort 
contributions from the inhabitants, actually lacked 
provisions, and fed only upon boiled barley or rye. 
The national government also took the soldiers' wives 
under its protection, and the Diet voted ten 
millions of florins, to be distributed in money or 
land amongst the troops, after the campaign should 
be over ; but they, when made acquainted with this 
liberal measure, feeling that their task was not yet 
accomplished, answered with sublime simplicity, 
" Provide us with bread and brandy, and keep the 
" money for more urgent purposes." 

Three days passed without any engagement. The 
position of the Poles, admirably adapted for defence, 
jbut not for attack, was the cause of their inaction. 
Diebitch also was unwilling to undertake any thing 
before the arrival of Prince Szachowskoi, who was 
marching d^,y and night to join the triumphant 
entry, which he had been led to expect, into the 



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COUNCIL OF WAR^ 235 

rebellious* capital. General Jankowski having been 
despatched from Grochow, with two regiments of 
infantry and two of cavalry, met Szachowskoi's 
corps at Neporent, on the 24th. After a short 
skirmish, the Poles retired to Bialolenka, three miles 
from Praga, where, being reinforced by two infantry 
regiments, an obstinate combat ensued, which lasted 
till night-fall, when the enemy remained in possession 
of the village. Szachowskoi's force consisted of 
26,000 of the best. Russian troops, and their 
advance on the left of the Poles, compelled Chlo- 
picki to detach a third brigade of infantry from 
the army at Grochow to Bialolenka, under General 
Krukowiecki ; but no more fighting took place 
that day. 

At night a council of war was held in a solitary 
house of the devastated Grochow. " What is to 
*' be done to-morrow ? Shall we retreat ? " asked 
Chlopicki, " and leave poisoned provisions behind 
" us?" The latter proposal was rejected by all. 
The retreat was stated to be impracticable, as the 
soldiers would never consent to retire without first 
risking a general engagement, though, in case of 
defeat, destruction seemed inevitable, there being 
only one bridge across the Vistula, which was, be- 
sides, liable to be destroyed at any moment by the 
breaking up of the ice. The fortifications of Praga, 
too, were either commanded by the adjacent hills, or 
not strong enough to protect a discomfited army. 
Still the soldiers would not hear of retreating. 



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23ft BATTLE OF filALOLENKA. 

" We cannot now," continued Chlopicki, ^ hope 
" to conquer nearly 145,000 men, and our only 
" alternative is to die." " Die," replied Skrzynecki ; 
and the other officers joined in the reply — ^^ Die 
" sword in hand on freedom's field." Pulchrumque 
mori in armis. 

The character of a nation is best exhibited in the 
hour of danger. The Romans proved worthy of 
their fame after the catastrophe of Cannse. Once 
more, the Poles showed themselves the unflinching 
defenders of that liberty of which they had so long 
stood the vanguard, when, on the night of the 24th 
of February, they deliberately resolved to die for 
the sacred rights bestowed upon them by God. 
Standards inscribed with the words, " For our 
** liberty and your's," were distributed to the regi- 
ments, and with these hallowed ensigns they moved 
forward to meet the Russian columns. 

On the 25th, at day-break, General Krukowiecki 
attacked the enemy in Bialolenka with the impe- 
tuosity suited to the ardent spirit that animated his 
soldiers. Szachowskoi evacuated the place in dis- 
order, leaving behind 2,000 killed and wounded, 
and six pieces of artillery. Krukowiecki at first 
pursued, but the Russian general, opposing him 
with a part only of his troops, soon concealed 
himself with the remainder in the wood, and by 
noon had entirely disappeared. This was the time 
when Krukowiecki should have joined the army at 
Grochow, and he was about to do so when he 



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BATtLE OF GROCHOW. 237 

received an order from Chlopicki to continue the 
pursuit. On hearing of this attack Diebitch imme- 
diately gave the signal for general battle. His first 
object was to get possession at any rate of the elder 
virood, and under cover of the artillery, he pushed 
forward a division of foot, which, however, was 
dispersed by the Poles before it had advanced half 
way. A valley, a mile wide, separated the two armies. 
In a moment, far as the eye could reach, it was 
covered with Russian battalions. The Muscovite 
soldiers are trained, by a brutal discipline, to fear 
more their officers than their enemy; and on this occa- 
sion, though exposed to an admirably conducted fire, 
twenty-six battalions resolutely advanced, and at- 
tacked Skrzynecki's division on the left of the elder 
wood ; but the 4th line kept its oath ; other regiments 
did no less ; and of all these twenty-six battalions 
only a wreck found safety in flight. They were 
replaced by as many more, and the elder wood was 
taken five times, and as often re-conquered by the 
Poles. The carnage had continued five hours, Chlo- 
picki leading on every attack, when precisely at 
two o'clock. General Zymirski, whilst defending the 
right of the wood, was reached by a cannon-ball. 
His division fell into disorder, and the enemy had 
gained possession of the post, when Chlopicki at- 
tacked them with the grenadier guards, and again 
drove them back. But after this conflict, during 
which two horses were killed under him, and him- 
self slightly wounded, the grenadiers, assailed in 



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238 BATTLE OF GROCHOW. 

their turn by a superior force, once more abandoned 
the post to the enemy. The danger was imminent, 
as in this case Skrzynecki could scarcely hope to 
maintain the other side of the wood, and the enemy 
would thus gain the object of their deadly struggle* 
But Chlopicki was now in his element. Swift as 
his own thought, he brought forward a brigade of 
Szembek's division, and, at the same moment with 
Skrzynecki, made so irresistible an onset that the 
enemy again abandoned the wood in the utmost 
confusion. Chlopicki, to whom Napoleon once 
presented a dart, in compliment to his eagle eye, 
then perceived that the Russians were exhausted, 
and that the moment was arrived for striking a decisive 
blow. Exclaiming, in the exultation of certain suc- 
cess. " Now will I beat that boaster ! Bring up the 
*^ cavalry ! — the cavalry ! " he had shouted a second 
time, when his horse was knocked down by a cannon 
ball, and himself wounded in both legs. 

^' L^ tombe un vieux guerrier, qui, ne dans les alannes, 
Eut les camps pour patrie, et pour amour ses armes." 

He was carried from the field at half-past two, 
borne on the crossed weapons of the scythemen, and 
the melancholy sight filled the soldiers, and even the 
officers with despair. There was, however, no time 
for lamentation ; for at that moment Szachowskoi 
joined Diebitch with the whole corps of grenadiers, 
whilst the Poles remained without a reinforcement, 
Krukowiecki having only then received orders to 



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BATTLE OF GROCHOW. 239 

advance. Diebitch, as though aware of Ohlopieki's 
fall, prepared for one more effort, and, as the grena- 
diers advanced, preceded by a long train of light 
artillery, their columns suddenly opened, and a cloud 
of cavalry poured into the valley. A division of 
lancers charged Skrzynecki's battalions, but without 
success ; and after strewing the ground with their 
corpses, the remainder fled. A second division of 
hussars attacked Szembek's corps on the right of 
the chaussee, and, was alike repulsed. A third, the 
cuirassiers, called ^* invincible*," marched up the 
chaussee, and, profiting by a wide interval between 
the Polish columns, passed the first line. Prince 
Albert of Prussia's regiment led this column with 
blind intrepidity, and a squadron of Polish lancers, 
which charged them, without being able to arrest 
their course/ was hurried with them along the 
chaussee. 

Meantime a scene of tumult arose on the road to 
Praga. Prince Radziwill had issued no orders since 
the fall of Chlopicki, and Szembek, who should 
have assumed the command, had been overthrown 
with his horse, by the invincible cuirassiers. Wag- 
gons loaded with the wounded men were pressing 
onwards, surrounded by civilians and ladies, who 
had come from Warsaw to assist the sufferers. 
Baggage and anununition waggons also were hurry- 
ing thither, and, to complete the confusion, several 

* From having been the first who entered Paris in 1814. 



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240 BATTLE OF GROCHOW. 

powder chests blew up. Praga was now set on fire, 
in order to uncover the cannon on the walls. It was 
whispered that the Russians had taken it, and the 
report, echoed in Warsaw, found its way into the 
Prussian Gazette, and spread through Europe. The 
President of the Government hastened to the scene 
of danger, ready to encounter death, as became the 
representative of a nation in her mortal agony. 

In the meantime, the cuirassiers had imprudently 
advanced to the second Polish line, but were effec- 
tually repulsed by a battalion, whilst Colonel Pron- 
dzynski poured on them a shower of Congreve 
rockets, and General Kicki attacked them with the 
2nd regiment of lancers, and two of the Zamoyski 
squadrons. Assailed from every quarter, the flying 
cuirassiers met as they fled the division of Skrzynecki, 
and a carnage as great as that in the elder wood took 
place. They would not yield, and all perished- 
The Polish artillery then advancing, poured a grape 
fire on the Russian battalions which were coming 
up, though too late, in support of the cuirassiers, 
and completed the discomfiture of Diebitch, whose 
men were now in full retreat. Skrzynecki, the hero 
of the day, at length confident of success, urged 
Prince Radziwill to renew the attack, more especially 
as Kjukowiecki had just arrived at Praga with 
15,000 fresh troops ; but since the fall of Chlopicki, 
the prince was not to be persuaded to undertake any 
thing upon his own responsibility, and fearing also 
that the bridge across the Vistula might be broken 



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\ 



BATTLE 01^ GROCHOW. 241 

down, he gave the word for retiring. Thus both 
armies drew off in opposite directions, as driven by 
some unseen influence from the spot of that day's 
butchery. Leaving Praga in flames, and three bat- 
talions to defend the fortified advanced post of the 
bridge, the remainder of the Polish army re-entered 
Warsaw in the night. To convey an idea of that day's 
conflict, it is enough to remark, that there was scarcely 
a general or staff officer amongst them who had not 
his horse killed or wounded under him ; two-thirds 
of the officers, and 8000 privates, were wounded, 
and 4000 killed. The Russians, according to their 
own statement, lost, during the three engagements 
on the 19th, 20th, and 25th, 30,000 killed and 
wounded*. They suffered most on the last day, in 
their assaults on the elder wood, which has since 
been called " the forest of the deadf." Amongst 
those who perished in this memorable combat> 
Count Louis Mycielski, v^rho had hastened from the 
Grand Duchy of Posen, to enter the 4th of the line, 
as a volunteer, stands distinguished both for his gal- 
lantry and the remarkable circumstances of his death. 
Three of his fingers being carried away by a grape 
shot, he twisted his cravat round the hand,— pierced 

* One of Diebitch's staff related, that on seeing so great a 
number of wounded, the Russian officers clasped their hands^ and 
exclaimed, " The hand of God is upon us !" 

t The elder wood has lately been cut down, by the order of 
Nicholas, with the view to silence the voice of history. Tyranny 
and folly go here side by side. 

R 



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242 BATTLE OF GROCHOW. 

in the foot by a musket ball, be bound up the wound, 
and still advanced. Whilst in the act of nailing up 
one of the enemy's guns, another grape shot shat- 
tered his knee, and, as his companions were bearing 
him away from the field, a cannon-ball terminated 
his heroic career. 

^^ Un ange me soutint sur son aile iuvinble 

" Pour raconter au monde un sublime trepas, 

" Qu'a vu ce siecle impie . . . et qu'il ne croira pas." 

For ever memorable will be the battle of Grochpw, 
where 145,000 Russians, with 400 cannon, were not 
able to vanquish 35,000 Poles (after the departure of 
Krukowiecki tjiey amounted to no more), with only 
100 cannon. Had not Chlopicki been disabled, 
the Poles would have been victorious at Grochow ; 
and the Russian empire, which had collected all 
its disposable force, might have been overthrown* 
Considered in this light, the battle was perhaps 
as important as any in modern times, since, had 
Russia been defeated, the condition of the world 
at large might have been changed. Eveaoi under 
existing circumstances, the defeat at Grochow, in 
its result, may be compared to Sobieski's victory 
over the Tajks at Vienna (1683); for, as the latter 
have never since advanced, but gradually lost their 
former conquests, so, in this hard-won struggle, 
Russia received a blow, the effects of which she will 
for ever feel. 



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DESTRUCTION OF PULAWY. 243 

Dwernicki beirJg absent^ Kreutz dared not again 
cross the Vistula; but bis vanguard, under Prince 
Adam of Wirtemberg, committ^ every spedes of 
vandalism in the palatinate of Lublin. This man, 
the don of Prince Adam Czartoryski's sister, had, 
before the insurrection, served in the Polish army, 
which he then quitted, giving his word never to bear 
aims against Poland ; yet he now, with two regiments 
of dragoons, attacked Pulawy, where his mother and 
grandmother were actually then residing. Colonel 
Lagowski and Julius Malachowski, with some of the 
new cavalry, and 200 sharp shooters, had passed the 
Vistula, surprised his party, and made two squa- 
drons prisoners; but on the approach of Kreutz 
corps, they retired, leaving Pulawy (one of the finest 
residences in Europe, and adorned with precious 
works of art) to the fury of the prince, by whom it 
was set on fire, and soon presented only a mass of 
ruins« He even caused several persons suspected of 
having taken part in the late action, to be hanged, 
and, to crown his atrocities, discharged two cannons 
at the princely dwelling, intended, as he said, for his 
mother* and grandmother, who were at that time 

* The Princess of Wirtemberg, his mother, is now living a 
refugee in France, Nicholas having confiscated her estates in 
favour of her son Prince Adam, who did not scruple to accept 
the gift. He, however, acquainted her with the step of his and 
her Imperial master, signifying, at the same time, that he was dis- 
posed to give her a portion of his revenue. To this she replied, 
with the dignity becoming a princess of the house of Ozartoryski, 
«!«?.-»-" Master I know not ; son I have none." 



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244 BATTLE OF KUROW, 

waiting on the wounded soldiers to whom they had 
given shelter. He also carried off from the palace 
a young lady conspicuous by her patriotism and 
beauty. When Dwernicki heard of these outrages, 
he hastened to Pulawy, from which the enemy re- 
treated at his approach. As a Pole, he felt it incum- 
bent on him to offer his tribute of respect to *^ the 
" venerable lady of the castle ;" but when he beheld 
the scene of desolation, he and his officers advanced 
in dread, lest they should find that the princess 
herself had fallen a victim to her savage grandson. 
Great was their astonishment when she appeared in 
the porch, and addressed them with, " How happy 
" am I that God has granted me to see you once 
** again before I die." Then presenting them to her 
ladies, she continued — "Do not be surprised at seeing 
" us in the best clothes left us by the enemy. We 
" are arrayed in our funeral attire ;" and pointed to 
the holes pierced in the walls by the Russian ball. 
It was with difficulty that Dwernicki could prevail 
on the venerable lady, eighty years of age, to retire 
into Galicia, while he hurried forward to avenge the 
insulted feeling of the nation. He overtook the rear- 
guard of Kreutz at Kurow, killed 200 of his men, and 
took 300 prisoners, besides the five pieces of cannon, 
which he had brought into action. The following 
day he came up with him again in Lublin, and drove 
him from the town. Kreutz then joined Diebitch, 
and Dwernicki proceeded to Zamosc, increasing his 
company on the march by volunteers from Galicia. 
From Zamosc he had to approach Volhynia, sup- 



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NEW GENERALISSIMO. 246 

posed to be on the eve of insurrection. This officer, 
who, with only 3000 newly levied soldiers, had de- 
feated two Russian corps, much superior in number, 
greatly influenced the fortune of the campaign ; for 
Diebitch concluding, from his success, that he must 
at least have 15,000 men, detached 20,000 under 
Toll, the most able of his generals, to oppose him. 

On the 26th of February, before dawn, the 
National Government summoned a council of 
general officers, when Prince Radziwill, acknow- 
ledging his errors, and his unfitness to remain 
general-in-chief, resigned the post. Chlopicki* re- 
commended that he should be replaced by Skrzy- 
necki, the hero of Dobre and of the forest of the 
dead j the other generals elected him, and the Diet 
confirmed their choice the same day. 

John Skrzynecki, a native of Galicia, then about 
forty-five years of age, began his military career in 
1809, as volunteer in an infantry regiment raised 
by Prince Constantine Czartoryski. At the battle 
o( Arcis sur rAubcy in 1813, he saved the life of 
Napoleon, who then uttered this prophetic remark : 
— " C'est un commandant qui commandera.'' Under 
the Russian government he was colonel of the 8th of 
the line, and his independence of character, as well 
as his military science, drew upon him the hatred of 

* Chlopicki soon after went to Cracow, where he remained 
during the war, not being able to take any further part in it on 
account of his wounds. 



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346 NEW GENERALISSIMO. 

the Grand Duke ConBtantine. When the Duke of 
Wellington visited Warsaw, on his way to St, Peters^ 
burgh, Constantine presented Skrzynecki to him 
with these words :i—" This officer can always tell 
^^ what is in the English or French press, but 
^* knows nothing of what passes in his own regi- 
^' ment/' Tall in stature, with a noble and chival- 
rous expression of countenance, his courage rises 
superior to every trial, but it is rather of a resigned 
than sanguine nature, analogous to the mysticism of 
his religious faith. When asked by the Diet on what 
plan he proposed to carry on the war, his reply was 
truly characteristic :<— ^^ Let the deputies recollect the 
'^ senators of Rome, who died in th^ curule chairs-** 
" fOT myself, I will be their Fabius Cunctator."* By 
Skrzynecki's recommendation, the Colonels Pron- 
dzynski and Chrzanowski were made generals ; and 
with their assistance he con^rted the plan of the 
coming campaign, attending first to the renorgani-* 
zation and recruiting of the army« The soldiers, 
who had hitherto known their chiefs only by name, 
saw Skrzynecki daily amongst them, training them 
by moral and military discipline* He rewarded 
merit, promoted talent, and endeavoured to inspire 
them with courage superior to all misfortunes. 
Amongst other regulations established with this 
object, he forbade any order of merit to be con- 
ferred on officers or soldiers witbput the express 
approval of both, nor did he omit any opportuiiity 
of winning their love. 



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FALSE RUMOURS. 247 

Since the night of the 25th, the Polish cavalry had 
occupied positions a few miles above and below 
Warsaw, the infantry and artillery being encamped 
either within the walls, or near them. All was pre- 
pared for resistance, in case the enemy should 
attempt to pass the still frozen Vistula, the left bank 
of which, at that spot, commands the right, together 
with Praga and its environs ; and a battery of twenty- 
four pounders was therefore placed on the left bank^ 
in order to cover the adjacent plains and overpower 
any hostile guns that might be pointed against 
Praga. This city was divided into two parts ; the 
one bordering on the Vistula, and strongly fortified, 
formed the advanced post of the bridge ; the other, 
at a greater distance, and not foitified, was set on 
fire, and abandoned to the Russians. A false report 
of the capture of Praga, and even of Warsaw, had 
gone the round of the European papers. But 
though encamped in its presence, no one knew better 
than Diebitch himself, how far he was from accom- 
plishing the object of his desires. Of Praga he pos- 
sessed little beyond its ashes, which refused even 
shelt^ to his men: before him lay ramparts de- 
fended by heavy cannon, and brave men determined 
to die rather than surrender ; beyond was the Vis- 
tula, which might open to swallow his artillery and 
men, should they attempt to pass ; and beyond 
that the yet stronger rampart of Polish breasts and 
bayonets. Like another Suwaroff, he gazed f6r 
some days upon the beautiful capital of Poland, 



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248 RETREAT OF DIEBITCH. 

and then retired to Grochow, where an altar had 
been raised on the field of battle, at which thousands 
of Russian soldiers daily raised their discordant 
voices in prayer. For what did they pray ? The 
Czar best knows, he who stands between them and 
their God, and sends them forth to the murder of 
nations. Kneeling in the midst of them, the field- 
marshal also prayed. Did he supplicate his idol, 
Nicholas, for pardon, that he had not conquered 
the rebellious capital? Such must have been his 
prayers, for he interrupted them only by his attempts 
to take Warsaw by treacherous means. He first 
resorted to the Russian policy usual in such cases. 
Two Polish prisoners of war were dismissed by him 
with a gift of four ducats each, and enjoined to make 
it known amongst their troops that the same sum 
would be given to all Poles deserting to the 
Russians. On their arrival in Warsaw the two 
soldiers communicated this transaction to Skrzy- 
necki, and deposited the money in the public trea- 
sury. In the order of the day Skrzynecki men- 
tioned their good conduct, and the baseness of 
Diebitch. Bribery having failed, the field-marshal 
next attempted, in nightly excursions, to burn the 
bridge ; and baffled in this also, he left Grochow 
on the 5th of March, and transferred his head- 
quarters to Siennica, forty miles distant. General 
Geismar, with the rear-guard, remaining at Waver. 
On the 11th of March the thaw conmienced, and for 
a time suspended all military operations. 



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RESULTS OF THE FIRST CAMPAIGN. 249 

The retreat of Diebitch, and the advance of 
Dwemicki on Zamosc, opened the eyes of Europe 
to the real results of the fight of Grochow j and the 
reports of Russian victories, circulated by the Prus- 
sian gazettes, were found to have been mere inven- 
tions. It is a melancholy consideration, that even in 
the nineteenth century, might should still constitute 
right; but it certainly appeared as if victory had 
added yet more sanctity to the claims of the Poles, 
so warmly did every generous heart now sympathise 
with " le peuple des heros," headed in their sublime 
struggle by the noblest of their countrymen. The 
tide of public opinion now setting against Russia, 
had made a wide breach in her power ; and had the 
other governments of Europe chosen to drive her 
back to her Asiatic steppes, and to prevent the 
murder of a nation, the time for doing so was not 
yet passed. But they contented themselves with 
secretly exulting at her humiliation ; and the French 
cabinet, which had pronounced, at the commence- 
ment of the insurrection, that ^^ la Pologne etait 
" destinee k perir," even went so far as to regret the 
success that now attended the Polish axms. 

Prince Czartoryski, whose diplomatic talents are 
well known, advised Skrzynecki to rest his hopes 
of the independence of Poland solely on the national 
troops, until some brilliant victory should tempt the 
European cabinets to interfere. But as the thaw 
suspended for a time all offensive operations, Skrzy- 
necki, wishing to relieve his men from the fatigue of 



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SdO ATTEMPT AT NEGOCIATION, 

incessantly watching so many different points, deter- 
mined to try whether he could not amuse Diebitch by 
negociation, so as to induce him to suspend his pre* 
parations for passing the Vistula. For this purpose 
he sent Colonel Mycielski, under pretext of an 
exchange of pris^mers, to the Russian camp, where, 
in an interview he had with Diebitch, the latter 
observed, " that the Poles had entered on a hope- 
" less struggle; that their army having set the ex- 
" ample of insurrection, ought to be the first to set 
^* that of submission, after which things might be 
" restored to their former state ; and that he desired 
" this on account of the sincere esteem he felt for 
" the nation/' To this communication, which, und^ 
the mask of humanity, was designed to disumte the 
army and the people, Skrzynecki answered by let- 
ter, that '^ before submission could be thought of^ 
" the Emperor must give positive guarantees for the 
" observance of the treaty of Vienna ;<«-as for the 
<* army, it would never separate its interests from 
" those of the people ; but would perish, if neces- 
" sary, to preserve that legal state of things for 
" which all had united." Diebitch replied, " that 
^^ Russia would listen to no proposal until the act 
^* of dethronement should be abrogated, and the 
" Diet which proclaimed it dissolved." Upon thi« 
demand the National Government would have broken 
off the negociafions ; but Skrzynecki opposing, as 
he said, humanity to arrogance, wrote once more : 
" Before we can enter into the question of dethrone- 



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VICTORY OF WAVER. 261 

'^ ment^ Russia must give us the most solemn and 
" unquestionable guarantees ; otherwise we may be 
" called inconstant and light-minded^ although our 
" mistmst is justified by the perjuries of half a 
*^ century." This last letter happily ended the 
negociations, which Diebitch now pronounced use- 
less. The nation never approved them^ remember- 
ing the Polish proverb, " he who once quarrels 
" with the Czar must either fight for bis life or pine 
" away in Siberia." 

By imprudently dividing his troops into detach- 
ments, Diebitch afforded Skrzynecki a fair oppor-- 
tunity of acting up to his words. During the night 
of the 30th of March, he left the environs of War- 
saw with 35,000 men, and, to conceal their march, 
the bridge over which they passed was covered with 
straw. Veiled by fog and darkness tliey approached, 
unseen, the inn of Waver, where General Geismar 
lay entrenched with 8000 men. Taken by surprise, 
the Russians fied along the chauss^e, losing 2000 
killed and wounded, 3000 prisoners, and four pieces 
of cannon ; and at Dembe Wielkie, about twenty- 
five miles from Warsaw, joined General Rosen, com- 
manding there 20,000 men. At five p.m. the Poles 
came up with them, and found them in a strong 
position, protected on one side by a wood and 
marshes, and on the other by a marshy river, the 
ground also on both sides of the chaussee being so 
loose as to be impassable. Skrzynecki, however, 
immediately attacked him. Two regiments, the 4th 



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252 VICTORY OF DEMBE WIELKIE. 

and 8th of the line, first advanced along the chausB^e, 
and although able to bring only two cannons to act, 
they at length dislodged the Russians from the vil- 
lage. Eight squadrons then charged, and in a quarter 
of an hour the Russian battalions were broken, 
their cavalry cut to pieces, the artillery taken, and 
Rosen himself compelled to seek refuge in a neigh- 
bouring wood. Darkness prevented the Poles from 
pursuing, and they passed the night on the field. 
At day-break they moved forward. A division of 
cavalry, headed by the 4th lancers, of which one 
squadron was commanded by Count Ladislaus 
Zamoyski, composed the vanguard, and Rosen> 
though a full night's march in advance, was soon 
overtaken. To save a part of his corps he sacrificed 
the rest, and stationed some battalions, at intervals, 
in the wood, to check the Polish cavalry, who, how- 
ever, galloped through their fire, and soon over- 
came all resistance. Amazed at such boldness, the 
Russian soldiers threw down their arms, attributing 
their success to the displeasure of the Virgin, an 
image of whom had been lost by General Geismar 
at Stoczek. Zamoyski, at the head of his squadron, 
which did in fact the work of a regiment, achieved, 
near Kaluszyn, the most brilliant exploit of the day, 
defeating three battalions successively, and himself 
taking three standards with his own hand. Rosea 
retired in the night to Siedlce, beyond the river 
Kostrzyn, and joined the corps of Pahlen II., just 
arrived from the interior of Russia. The same day 



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PLANS OF WAR. 263 

Skrzynecki took up his head-quarters at Kaluszyn. 
In these two days the enemy lost 14,000 prisoners, 
and 6000 killed and wounded, together with 16 
pieces of cannon, 16,000 muskets, and many ammu- 
nition and baggage waggons. The loss of the Poles 
in killed and wounded was very small. Four 
thousand Lithuanians, whom they took prisoners, 
recollecting, at last, that they also were sons of 
Poland, volunteered their service. Had Skrzynecki 
taken the advice given him by Prondzynski, and im- 
mediately pursued Rosen to Siedlce, to complete the 
destruction of his corps, which had now joined that 
of Pahlen II., the whole of the Russian force might 
possibly have been annihilated ; for Diebitch with his 
60,000 men, hemmed in between the river Wieprz, 
the Vistula, and the Polish army, must have been 
ultimately defeated ; or he might, as Chrzanowski 
urged, have struck a still more decisive blow, by 
leading his army, elated with its recent victory, to 
attack Diebitch himself. But he was too cautious 
to adopt either of these counsels ; objecting, to the 
first, the danger of being cut off from Warsaw ; 
and, to the second, that the roads were impassable, 
especially for artillery. The position occupied by 
Diebitch, near Macieiowice, was the very spot where 
Kosciuszko fell; and this was, perhaps, another 
reason why Skrzynecki, whom the press already 
called a second Kosciuszko, would undertake 
nothing in that quarter. On learning the defeat of 
his two corps, Diebitch caused the preparations 



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254 VICTORY OP I6ANIE. 

made for the passage of the Vistula to be burnt, and 
hastened to JSedlee, in order there to collect his 
forces. It was now in Skrzynecki's power to pre- 
Tent their junction, and on the 10th of April he 
began to take measures to effect that object Pron- 
dzynski, with 8000 men, was to attack the right 
wing, Skrzynecki to advance by the chaussee upon 
the centre, and Chrzanowski to cut off the retreat by 
the bridge over the Muchaviec. Prondzynski was the 
first who arrived, and he waited several hours for 
the other corps. In presence of an enemy four 
times his own strength, and compelled to attack, or 
to risk being himself attacked on his retreat, he 
chose the first alternative, and as be approached the 
village of Iganie, encountered ten Russian squadrons 
prepared for the charge. General Kicki fell on 
them with one regiment of laaicers, cut many to 
pieces, and made 400 prisoners. Prondzynski next 
led on his battalions, explaining to them, as they 
went, the superiority of the bayonet to the musket 
on this occasion. The shock was terrible j 3000 
Russians were killed and 4000 taken, besides five 
cannon and 4000 muskets. Two regiments (the 
13th and 14th light infantry), called by the Emperor 
Nicholas, since the last Turkish war, ** The Hons of 
" Warna," perished to a man. Three Russian 
colonels were also killed, and three taken prisoners. 
The loss of the Poles amounted to 500 killed and 
wounded. The battle was over, and the enemy 
had already effected their retreart by the bridge 



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BATTLE OF VENQROW. 3^5 

before mentioned, when Skrzynecki and Chrza- 
nowski arrived, their delay having been caused by 
the badness of the roads. The town of Siedlce 
might still have been carried without much diffi- 
culty; but Skrzynecki, knowing that within its 
walls were 16,000 men wounded, or sick of the 
cholera, abandoned the idea. That disease had 
now also reached the Poles, and proved more 
destructive than the sword. TTie following day, 
they abandoned Iganie, and returned to their former 
position near Kaluszyn. 

In the meantime. General Uminski having ob- 
tained some advantages in the palatinate of Plock, 
over the imperial guard, joined the main body of 
the army, and was appointed to defend the passage 
of the Liviec at Vengrow, where, on the 13th of 
April, a severe engagement took place. Here again 
Polish valour overcame superiority of numbers; 
three squadrons of lancers defeating six of Russian 
dragoons, and making 400 prisoners, whilst a newly 
formed regiment of infantry successfully resisted 
through Ike day several of the enemy's regiments. 

A fortnight of mutual ijoaction succeeded, during 
which Skrzynecki endeavoured to reinforce Dwer- 
nicki, in order to favour the insurrection in Volhynia- 
He therefore ordered General Sierawski, then sta- 
tioned with 6000 new levies, chiefly armed with 
scythes, on the left of the Vistula, to advance on 
Zamosc, but, if possible, to avoid an engagement. 
Sierawski, however, had no sooner crossed the river. 



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266 Dl^FEAT OF SIERAWSK!. 

(on the 17th of April), than he was attacked by 
General Kreutz, with 12,000 men, and notwith- 
standing the inferiority of his own force, successfully 
resisted him during the greater part of the day. 
Towards evening, in hopes of deciding the victory, 
the gallant veteran made a charge with two squadrons 
of Kalisz, and had already taken the enemy's can- 
non, when his troops were seized with a panic, and 
fled, thus compelling him to give the signal for 
retreat. It was, however, executed in good order, 
and the next day they reached the Vistula at Kazimir. 
There was no bridge. The cavalry had swum across, 
and a part of the infantry had already passed in 
boats when the Russians came up. Young Julius 
Malachowski, with 200 rifles, for a time covered the 
retreat ; but at length the greater part of his men 
having been killed or disabled, he seized a scythe, 
and shouting, " this was Kosciuszko's weapon ! 
Brave soldiers, on with me!"— -rushed upon the 
nearest battalion, and put it to flight. Short was 
the triumph — ^hefell pierced with many balls, and the 
scythemen fled. A thousand Poles perished, more 
however in the waves than by the sword. The 
Russian loss was as great. Yet the Poles called it 
their defeat, and justly. It was a moral check. 

On the 24th, after his long repose, Diebitch again 
began to act on the offensive. The Poles being de- 
sirous to choose their ground for the next battle, 
retired before him. General Dembinski, with a rear- 
guard, making a brilliant stand at Kuflew, to cover 



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BATTLE OF MINSK. 257 

the retreat. On the 25th, they reached Dembe 
Wielkie. General Gielgud, commanding their rear- 
guard of 10,000 troops, having profited by an ad- 
vantageous position at Minsk to arrest the progress 
of the Russians, with much loss on their side, during 
the whole afternoon, joined Skrzynecki at Dembe 
Wielkie in the night, who was desirous to entice 
Diebitch once more to Grochow. This latter, how- 
ever, had no inclination to revisit the field where so 
many of his men had perished ; and having advanced 
but three miles beyond Minsk, withdrew, on the 
28th, to his entrenched position at Siedlce. 

A second inaction of a fortnight intervened. Im- 
portant motives compelled Diebitch to suspend thus 
his military operations. It seems that his late move- 
ment was undertaken solely in compliance with the 
express order of the Emperor Nicholas, who, igno- 
rant of the difficulties attending the present war, 
insisted on its being immediately brought to a con- 
clusion. The excuse Diebitch oflfered for his late 
promenade, was want of provisions. The real cause, 
however, was the disorganized state of his troops. 
Rosen's corps, amounting to 30,000 men, no longer 
existed ; that of Pahlen, equally strong, had been 
half destroyed by the Polish arms, and was daily 
decimated by cholera. Added to this, the destruc- 
tion of Geismar's 9000 men, the death of all the 
wounded by want of hospitals, the rising in Lithua- 
nia, and the presence of Dwernicki in Volhynia 

s 



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258 BATTLE OF KOCK. 

threatening to interrupt the communication with the 
interior^ were sufficient motives for waiting until the 
success of the Russian troops in those two provinces 
should enable them to send him a further reinforce* 
ment. Skrzynecki, on his part, was not disposed to 
molest Diebitch in his fortified position ; but more 
than ever anxious for the safety of Dwernicki's corps 
since the defeat of Sierawski, he sent him 5000 of 
his own best men under the command of General 
Chrzanowski. This corps, on the 8th of May, sur- 
prised at Kock 4000 Russians, who had been simi- 
larly dispatched by Diebitch to assist Kreutz, and 
took 800 prisoners, At Firlei, they were opposed 
by Kreutz himself, whom they compelled to draw 
oflf with a loss of 400 prisoners, and continued their 
march, without interruption, Kreutz hanging on 
their rear till the 10th, when he again attacked them 
at Levartow on the banks'of the river Wieprz. After 
a severe fight of several hours, Chrzanowski suc- 
ceeded in crossing the river, not only with his own 
troops, but with his prisoners. One infantry com- 
pany, left by him in a monastery, to arrest the 
enemy, and enjoined rather to die than to surre^^er 
before the passage should be efiectedj as long a» their 
powder lasted, made so admirable a defence, that 
Kreutz, deceived as to their numbers, brought up 
many battalions and several pieces of artilleify : he 
could not refrain from uttering an expression of 
respect ;^ when only 111 men at length surrendered to 



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RUSSIAN CRUEITY. 269 

his arms. Owing to the winding of the river, Chr^a* 
nowski had to cross it again no less than three times ; 
and after marching fifty-seven miles in three days, 
during which he had several encounters with the 
enemy, arrived at Zamosc on the 11th of May, 
bringing with him 1200 prisoners, 400 of whom 
enlisted in his corps. This was one of the finest operas 
tions of the campaign, but did not attain its object; 
for Dwemicki had long since left this fortress for 
Volhynia, where it was now too late to attempt join- 
ing him. Had the three generals been able to have 
combined their forces, they would, in all probability, 
have destroyed the corps of Kreutz, and carried on 
a successful contest beyond the Bug. By whose 
feult the opportunity was lost, let the event show. 

The Diet had been discussing the relation in which 
the kingdom stood to the insurrectionized sister 
countries, and also the degree of retaliation to be 
exercised upon the enemy. Hitherto the Russian 
prisoners had been treated with unparalleled kind- 
ness, and their wounded tended by Polish ladies 
with as much care as they bestowed on those of 
their own countrymen. This humane conduct was 
ill requited by the Russians, as the ruins of Pulawy 
and the number of Polish prisoners hanged or shot 
in cold blood sufficiently testified; but after the 
battle of iganie and Diebitch's late reconnoissance, 
several children and pregnant women were found 
murdered. In some instances the breasts of women 



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200 RUSSIAN CRUELTY. 

were cut off, and two Cossacks were actually seized 
bearing about them the proofs of their revolting 
barbarity. Beyond even these atrocities, the ukases 
of Nicholas against the insurgents of Lithuania and 
the other provinces, — so cruel that they were not at 
first believed in Europe to be genuine, — seemed to 
demand some protective measure of reprisal. One 
was proposed by the Chamber of Deputies, but 
rejected by the Senate as unworthy of the Polish 
name ; and the following resolutions in regard to 
Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia, and Ukraina, were 
finally thought sufficient. 1st. That all portions of 
those provinces formerly belonging to ancient Poland 
have now recovered the rights and privileges impre- 
scriptibly possessed by them before the first parti- 
tion. 2ndly. Wherever the inhabitants of provinces 
shall rise to shake off the Russian yoke, whosoever 
shall endeavour to replace that yoke, or do any thing 
prejudicial to the insurrection, shall be considered a 
traitor, and punished accordingly; — and, 3rdly. That 
the National Government and General-in-Chief be 
charged with the execution of this decree. In con- 
sequence, Skrzynecki addressed a letter to Diebitch, 
informing him that any attempt to execute the im- 
perial ukases would be followed by retaliation upon 
the 20,000 Russian prisoners now in the hands of 
the Poles ; and, should the war assume a character 
so abhorrent to their dispositions, the cruelties ensu- 
ing would be attributed, both by present and future 



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RUSSIAN CRUELTY. 261 

generations, to those with whom they first com- 
menced. Diebitch lead the letter, sent it back, and 
proceeded to inflict barbarities more cruel tlian 
ever. Yet neither the government nor the general 
permitted themselves to use their asserted right of 
retaliation, thus preserving the nation guiltless of 
innocent blood. 



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CHAPTER VIII. 

Insurrection of the Rtissian Countries, or of 
Volhynia, PodoliUy and Ukraina. 

When a country that has fonned a part of 
Poland, borne her name and breathed her social 
spirit, is deprived of the national appellation, it be- 
comes an unintelligible cipher; the import of which 
can be found only in the records of ten centu- 
ries back, when Sclavonia lay as a tablet on which 
the sword successively traced and obliterated em- 
pires, and on which the only enduring characters 
are those impressed by Christianity. Such an 
empire was Russia, a part of which now bears the 
names of Volhynia, Podolia, Ukraina. But, that 
the present subject may be more fully understood, 
it is necessary to define distinctly, what were 
ancient Russia, Muscovy, and the Russian empire 
of the present day. A few retrospective remarks 
will elucidate the question. 

In the ninth century, whilst the Poles were 
establishing the centre of their power on the banks 
of the Vistula, a tribe of the Scandinavian warriors, 
known in western Europe as Normans, the Varan- 



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CHARACTER OF POLAND AND RUSSIA. 263 

gian Russians*, led by Rurik, subjugated the Scla- 
vonian countries along the Dnieper (Borysthenes)> 
and founded an empire, of which Kiow was made 
the capital. The Poles were originally a Sclavo- 
nian tribe; the Varangian-Russians were foreign 
interlopers, and thus two antagonistic elements 
settled in the bosom of the Sclavonian family : 
the essential principle of the one, being to diffuse 
liberty to the extremest limits of the community — 
that of the other, to absorb every particle of social 
vitality to the centre of power. Poland protecting 
the Sclavonian tribes from German subjugation, 
Russia enslaving them by millions. These distinc-' 
tive characteristics of the two powers became yet 
more evident as time rolled on. 

The Roman world had split into two parts, and 
the young nations, which established themselves 
upon the ruins of the western half, infused fresh 
life into that portion of the empire. The eastern 
was but the propped up fragment of a crumbling 
edifice. The sacred doctrine of Christ was readily 
received by the healthy west, and imparted fresh 
vigour to its social communities. The Greek em- 
pire was weighed down by heathen sophistry and 
Oriental despotism, and the seed of Christianity fell 
there upon the stony ground. The germ of schism, 

* The primitive country of the Varangian Russians would 
seem to have been some tract on the eastern side of Sweden. 
The Finns, in their vernacular idiom, still call Sweden a Russian 
country .-^/%>t(&2^ Moa. 



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264 CHARACTER OF, THE SCLAVONIANS. 

though concealed, thus already existed in the Chris- 
tian church. The new doctrine approached the Scla- 
vonian nations both through Germany and the Greek 
empire. Hence it was an important consideration, 
not only to themselves, but to the rest of the Chris- 
tian community, whether, in becoming its members, 
they would range themselves on the side of the 
eastern or the western church. Mieczislas, king 
of Poland, embraced Christianity in 965, according 
to the Latin ritual ; — ^Vladimir, Grand Duke of 
Kiow, was baptized in 991, according to the Greek. 
Poland thus became associj^ted to the western 
powers — Russia turned to the east, and their geo- 
graphical character was thus stamped for future 
ages. At that eventful moment, the two kindred 
nations, as if impelled by antagonistic forces, di- 
verged towards the opposite poles of civilization, 
and the question arose, at what spot between the 
Vistula and the Dnieper, the fraternal bond should 
be severed. The question remains undecided still. 

The greatest extent of territory possessed by 
Russia, was during the reign of Vladimir the 
Great. The Bug, the Dniester, and the Karpats, 
constituted her western limits; and towards the 
east, she extended her power to the sources of 
the Oka and the Volga. 

It is the characteristic of the Sclavonian nations 
to absorb into themselves every foreign element. 
The vast country bearing the name of Russia, still 
preserved its aboriginal features. The descendants 



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PARTITION OF RUSSIA. 266 

of Rurik learned to speak from Sclavonian mothers, 
and the band of Scandinavian invaders soon dis- 
appeared among the native millions. In point of 
language, therefore, Russia still remained Sclavonian. 
The universal adherence of the inhabitants to the 
Greek ritual alone, distinguished them from those 
of the other states. Still, as Constantinople acknow- 
ledged the supremacy of Rome, religion as yet 
formed no barrier of separation. Political powier 
was thus the only tie which held together so many 
millions of Sclavonian origin. This power was 
foreign, founded upon the ruins of their national 
liberties, and its despotic character was aggravated 
by being united with the oriental despotism of the 
Greek empire. 

In 1015 Vladimir, on his death bed, divided his 
conquests among his twelve sons, enjoining them to 
regard the Grand Duke of Kiow as their chief. 
Their mutual quarrels, however, soon rendered them 
vassals to Boleslas the Great, king of Poland ; but 
during the long contest in which the latter was 
subsequently involved with the German emperors, 
Jaroslas the Great, having slain his brothers, once 
more united the provinces of Russia, and dying in 
1054, in his turn divided them between his five sons. 
This partition proved more durable, and 300 yeai-s 
after the arrival of Rurik, the very name of Russia 
was forgotten, and three new states arose out of her 
ruins. In the north, the principal commercial towns 
formed there a confederative republic. Their power 



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306 PARTITION OF RUSSIA* 

wid riches were so great, that Novogrod and Pskow 
were admitted as members of the Anseatic league, 
(1160). Eastward beyond the Dnieper, the des- 
cendants of Rurik, having shaken off their allegiance 
to the Grand Duke of Kiow, had established an 
absolute rule over various tribes. Vladimir on the 
Klasma, was the capital of their duchy. They 
rendered their rebellious separation still more com- 
plete by throwing off the supremacy of Rome, 
(1164), which Kiow continued to acknowledge. 
After that epoch, southern Russia had her own 
distinct history. Lacerated for more than a century 
by the domestic quarrels of her dukes, she was by 
turns the vassal of Poland and of Hungary, until, 
in 1239, Daniel, a descendant of Jaroslas, united 
some portions of the distracted land, and formed 
the kingdom of Halic (Galic or Galicia). Towards 
the end of his reign, two heathen nations, the Tatars 
and the Lithuanians, accomplished tlie final sepa- 
ration of Halic from the eastern or northern parts 
of the ancient Russia. The former, bursting from 
the borders of the Caspian, deluged the Sclavonian 
countries with their numbers, while the latter 
gathered like a storm on the shores of the Baltic sea. 
Repulsed from Poland, the Tatars subjugated the 
Dukes of Vladimir (1224), who subsequently, 
with the permission of their conquerors, transferred 
their capital to Moscow (1295), and assumed the 
title of Grand Dukes of Muscovy. Henceforth the 
existence of Muscovy was entirely isolated from 



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EMPIRE OF TH£ LITHUANIANS. 367 

the rest of Europe, until her dukes, trained in the 
school of the Tatars, once more emei^d, to show 
the world the tenets they had there imbibed. 

The heathen tribes settled on the banks of the 
Niemen and the shores of the Baltic, pressed on one 
i^ide by the Teutonic Knights (1230), and on the 
other by the Knights of the Sword (1204), aban- 
doned their country, and sought refuge in Lithuania 
and Samogitia. There they established the capital 
of Paganism, there its power was concentrated in 
its full energy, and forcing a passage through the 
outworks of Christendom, it pursued its conquer- 
ing course along the banks of the Dnieper. The 
current of this magnificent river seems to impart 
irresistible force, and no sooner does a warrior start 
from its source, than he pastures his charger on the 
plains of Kiow, and bathes his hoof in the waters 
of the Black Sea. Following in the steps of the 
Scandinavians, the Lithuanians now arose^ and, 
under their Duke Gedimin, took Kiow in 1336, 
and afterwards extended their conquests far and 
wide on both banks of the Dnieper, down to the 
Black Sea ; the Niemen, the Bug, and the Dniester^ 
separating them from Poland, and the Baltic form- 
ing their northern boundary. JSastward, they had 
no determined limits; and the Lithuanians three 
times advanced as far as Moscow. Meantime, 
Poland recovered the tract beyond the Dniester, 
the San, and the Karpats, torn from her by Vladi- 
mir the Great, and now again united to her (1340). 



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268 CONVERSION OF JAGELLON. 

ITiis terminated the existence, of the kingdom of 
HaliC; and no part of ancient Russia now preserved 
its independence. 

The Christian world remained divided. Western 
Europe breathed an ardent spirit of self-devotion 
and liberty. The East continued to wither like a 
branch separated from the parent tree. The Western 
Latin community, successfully combated the infidels 
both in Europe and Asia. The Greek schismatics 
lay prostrate beneath the sword of the Crusaders, 
the Tatars, the Lithuanians, and the Poles. Of 
the great Sclavonian family, Poland alone had pre- 
served her independence, and by her liberal insti- 
tutions, and higher degree of civilization, asserted 
her kindred with the west of Europe. Of the 
three powers — the Polish, the Lithuanian, and the 
Muscovite-Tatar — which now shared the empire of 
%e Sclavonian countries, the genius of Poland ^one 
had a civilizing tendency, and consequently all her 
advances eastward, were so many triumphs of Euro- 
pean civilization over eastern barbarism. As it was 
evident that the Lithuanian Dukes and their subject 
millions must ere long embrace Christianity, both 
Europe and Sclavonia watched with anxiety to see 
for which of its rituals they would declare. The 
question, providentially for western civilization, was 
decided by the marriage of Duke Jagellon with 
Hedwige, Queen of Poland (1386), on which occa- 
sion, he and his people adopted the creed of Rome, 
and so great a revolution has seldom been attended 



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SLOW PROGRESS OF REFORM. 269 

with fewer sacrifices. The spirit of civilization 
which had so long struggled against opposition 
on the banks of the Bug and the Dniester, now 
spread at once beyond the Dnieper and the Dwina, 
and the two parties destined to represent among the 
Sclavonian nations the two opposite principles that 
agitated the Christian world, stood forward in their 
distinctive characters during the subsequent period, 
and displayed in still more striking contrast their 
social and religious discrepancies. The Polish laws 
and institutions were at once introduced into Lithu- 
ania, but improvements on parchment avail but little, 
where the popular mind has not been in some 
degree educated to receive them, and it required two 
centuries to bring her to an equality with Polaad. 
The difficulty was still greater in Volhynia, Podolia, 
and Ukraina*, provinces which had belonged to the 
Russia of Vladimir the Great, and had originally 
received the Christian faith from Constantinople. 
That city had since disclaimed the supremacy of 
Rome, and these provinces therefore, although 
nominally incorporated with Poland, restricted their 
union to political submission, whilst. their secret 
partialities must necessarily have tended towards 
the state to which they owed their religious con- 
version. 

The Greek emperors, menaced by the Turks, felt 
the necessity of alliance with Rome. The re-union 

* Volhynia has its name from the city of Volhyn. — Podolia 
means a level, or low country; and Ukraina, the extreme province. 



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270 UNION OP FLORENCE. 

of the churches took place in consequence at 
Florence in 1439^ although a portion only of the 
Greeks, and even these but for a short time, adhered 
to the compact Muscovy rejected it altogether, but 
Isidor, metropolitan of Kiow, accepted it. This spi* 
ritual covenant promised to prepare Volhynia, 
Podolia, and Ukraina, for a more complete assimils^ 
tion with Poland ; but important events interrupted 
then and since her social influence over those 
countries. Ccuistantinople was taken by the Turks 
in 1553. Pope Julius II. in vain conjured the 
Christian potentates to advance, under Sigismond 
king of Poland, against these powerful enemies of 
their fauth, and the Poles were left to maintain the 
combat alone. The situation of Ukraina, Podolia, 
and Volhynia, at this period, deserves a peculiar 
attention. They had long been the theatre of in- 
cessant warfare. Once studded thick with cities, 
and inhabited by a numerous population, they weie 
now reduced to a wilderness by the Mahometan 
tribes, which swept like a storm over the inheritance 
of Jagellon. His son Ladislaus, the champion of 
Christianity, had perished at Vaxna (in 1444). 
Amidst tombs, which rising like mountains, marked 
the bloody passage of the multitudinous nations 
whose names, as Chateaubriand says, are known 
only to God; — ^amidst walls raised by unknown 
hands, and eemeteries whitening with the bones of 
Varangian Russians, of the Polovtzy, Mogols, Hun- 
ganans, Lithuanians, and Poles, the Tatar still 



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INCURSIONS OF THE TATARS. 271 

discerned the several tracks along which he carried 
desolation from his maritime steppes to the flourish* 
ing abodes of the Poles. One of these tracks led from 
OczakofT through Podolia; another followed the 
right bank of the Dnieper, and passed through the 
plains of Ukraina to Volhynia. A third proceeded 
from Valachia into Galicia, and all met at Lemberg. 
Flights of rapacious birds arriving from the South, 
announced the approaching scourge, and the true 
omen was quickly confirmed by the glowing sky 
that reddened in the glare of burning villages. 
The barbarian hordes in their sudden attacks, over- 
powered the inhabitants, and seized the fruits of 
their toil, before the warlike proprietors of the 
adjacent castles could descend to their defence. 
Prompt in aggression, prompter still in flight, they 
dragged into infamous captivity, the youth of both 
sexes J driving off the herds, and leaving behind 
them only heaps of ashes^ and the corpses of the 
n/ged. Notwithstanding this immense havoc, the 
population still renewed itself upon that beautiful 
soil, " cut up," as says a Sclavonian poet, " by the 
^ tramp of horses, fertilized by human blood, and 
" white with hones, where sorrow grew abundantly" 
— and that population, like the soil, never ceased 
to be Sclavonian. 

About sixty miles below Kiow, the Dnieper forms 
a variety of isles, upwards of seventy in number. 
The banks of the river, here fringed with woods, 
there ste^ and marshy — ^the deep caverns in the 



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272 ORIGIN OF THE COSSACKS. 

rocky islands, concealed by spreading trees, ox tan* 
gled thorn bushes, offered a favourable place of refuge, 
whilst the open country lay exposed to the barbari- 
ans^ At the epoch of the first general invasion of 
the Tatars, and again during the Lithuanian war, 
many persons found shelter there ; and their number 
was subsequently increased, by the arrival of adven- 
turers, guided by necessity or pleasure, by deserters 
from the Lithuanian, Polish, Hungarian, and Vala- 
chian ranks, by fugitives from Tatar bondage, or by 
the poor escaping from the oppression of the rich ; 
sometimes also by criminals flying from merited 
punishment. The motley community was at first 
held together by a rule enforcing celibacy, fishing, 
and hard labour. Gradually, they ventured upon 
secret excursions to the neighbouring countries, 
which, by degrees, they extended into daring expe- 
ditions down the Dnieper, and along the Black Sea 
as far as the very walls of Constantinople. In more 
peaceable times, they condescended to inhabit the 
plains, there to cultivate the soil, and enjoy domestic 
comfort in the bosom of their families. Such was 
the origin of the nation since known by the name 
of Cpssacks. The usual characteristic of the Scla- 
vonian race prevailed amongst them, and their lan- 
guage is the same as that of the Ukrainians and 
Podolians. Their religion remained Russo-Greek, 
for the union of Florence could not easily penetrate 
to their hidden abode. Such a rallying of the lowest 
classes had the inevitable effect of widening still 



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POLISH CIVILIZATION. 273 

more the social interval between them and the nobi- 
lity. Villages and towns rose again and again, 
under the protection of the adjacent castles, which, 
whether ancient or new, still served as the bulwarks 
of the country, and the resort for the young or less 
wealthy nobles in their warlike exercises. Within 
their walls, side by side, with the descendants of 
Rurik and of Lithuanian dukes, Polish lords lived 
in brotherly concord. They served the same sove- 
reign, fought the same foe, and glowed with equal 
ardour for the honour and independence of their 
common country. Heroes of the blood of Czarto- 
ryski, Ostrogski, Wisniowiecki, Yazlowiecki, and 
of many another princely house, achieved, on this 
soil, the deeds which adorn the Polish and Lithua- 
nian annals, and large portions of it became their 
inheritance. Thousands of national militia were 
ever ready to rally round their standard, in case of 
foreign invasion. In peace, they were the king's 
counsellors, and the nation's representatives and 
judges. They were, besides, the channels by which, 
first the nobility, and subsequently the burgesses 
and lower orders, received those treasures of liberty, 
literature, and civilization, of which Poland might 
justly boast under the Jagellons. Through their 
moral influence, exercised unremittingly during two 
centuries, the inhabitants of Lithuania, Volhynia, 
Podolia, and Ukraina, not only learned to think 
like Poles, but to speak the Polish idiom. The 
various parts of the Polish empire having respectively 

T 



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274 FINAL SCHISM IN RELIGION 

attained a sufficient degree of moral development , 
Sigismond Augustus, the last of the Jagellons, 
thought it time to extend the same privileges to all, 
and, in consequence, the Diet held in Lublin (1669) 
declared that Poland and Lithuania should, for the 
future, constitute one and the same republic, and 
elect in concert their common sovereign. 

The moral sense, the unvarying idea imparted by 
Heaven to the human race, is the only key which 
interprets the innumerable ciphers, the many for- 
mulas, and the various relations which constitute 
the history of a free community like Poland. The 
history of despotic states is, on the contrary, 
strongly marked in clear and prominent characters. 
The throne is the pivot round which absolute power 
revolves, rending, in its relentless course, nations, 
families, and the hearts of men. Within that circle 
one alone is free ; the rest are numbered things — 
slaves, whose destiny is varied only by the greater 
or less degree of physical good, of trade, taxes, &c. 
Hence it has been thought by many that in writing 
the history of Muscovy^ it is sufficient to give the 
record of her conquests and statistics. To under*- 
stand the rest, however, requires a more profound 
investigation of the past. 

The religious differences between Kiow and Mos- 
cow, ended in open schism in 1458, when the 
respective Metropolitans of those cities declared them- 
selves independent of each other. The Metropolitan 
of Moscow acknowledged for a time the supremacy 



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BETWEEN MIISCOW AND KiOW. 275 

of the Patriarch of Constantinople, then in posses- 
sion of the infidels. He of Kiow attached himself to 
Rome. The schism became yet wider in 1590, when 
the Patriarch Jeremias, who had been expelled from 
Constantinople, sold to the Grand Duke of Muscovy 
the patriarchal dignity, and ordained an independent 
patriarch. The spiritual independence took place 
simultaneously with the temporal. Muscovy shook 
off the yoke of the Tatars in 1480. Her dukes in- 
herited the despotism of their late masters, and, with 
a double weight of authority, oppressed their sub- 
jects. A twofold career lay open to them — either, 
like the Tatars, to subjugate other countries by the 
sword, or, as schismatics, to separate nations from 
the European community. At the epoch of the 
conclusion of the middle ages, fortune smiled on 
Muscovy, and gave her a monarch destined to build 
up out of these remnants of barbarism which Europe 
was labouring to shake off, the colossal basis of the 
throne of Catherine and of Nicholas. Ivan Vasile- 
witch was a Varangian by blood, a true Tatar in heart, 
a perfect schismatic in soul. His subjects had the 
courage to call him " severe;" Europe gave him 
the ill-assorted title of " cruel." He alone of all 
monarchs could say : Mvscovy^ &est moi. He formed 
her after his very image and likeness, and clothed 
her savage nakedness with regal decorations. At 
the beginning of his reign, Muscovy contained no 
more than 288,000 square miles of territory, with a 
population of six millions. Assisted by the Tatars, 



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276 MUSCOVY V. RUSSIA. 

Ivan extended her possessions by the conquest of 
Novogrod, in 1479 ; and his name began then to be 
echoed in Europe, mingled with the groans of the 
Anseatic league. Fortune again hastened to cover 
with the purple the bloody cradle of his power. 
Sophia, a niece of the last Greek emperor, Paleo- 
logus, consented to marry him, and in her right he 
called himself legitimate heir to the imperial dignity, 
and hung a double-headed eagle on the walls of 
Moscow. Then looking around him, he at length 
remembered that a Russia once existed, and pro- 
claimed himself Czar of all Russia. The idea em- 
bodied in those words, embracing past and future 
ages, declared interminable war against Poland. 
Could that name be applied to Muscovy? She 
contained barely a rebellious fragment of the con- 
quests of Rurik. Her main possession consisted 
now in the spoils of the Knights of the Sword, and 
those of the Anseatic League ; of some Tatar steppes, 
and of countries bordering on Asia, and inhabited 
by tribes of a different race from the Sclavonians. 
The Muscovite language, a mixture of Scandinavian, 
Tatar, German, and Sclavonian words, is not under- 
stood by a Russian*. In point of nationality, there- 
fore, Muscovy had nothing by which to prove her 
relationship with the former Russia. The Russo- 
Greek creed formed the sole tie that united her with 

* A proof of this may be inferred from the circmnstance that 
the Empress Catherine, in 1794, ordered that the Lithuanian '* 
statute, written in Russian, should be translated into Muscovite. 



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UNION OF FLORENCE. 277 

many Sclavonians. Should, therefore, Ukraina or 
any other province break its spiritual union with 
Rome, a sympathy would immediately arise between 
such province and Muscovy, the strong hold of 
schism. 

During the reign of Ivan the Cruel, Luther had 
convulsed Western Europe by his denunciation of 
Papal abuses, and the conflicting elements that had 
hitherto brooded in silence among the Sclavonian 
nations, now started into life. Protestants flying 
from German and Bohemian persecution, took shelter 
in Poland, and availed themselves of her free press 
to assail the Church of Rome at every vulnerable 
point. They raised a cry against the union of Flo- 
rence, which, joined with that of numerous Musco- 
vite emissaries, finally produced its dissolution, in 
1520. Deep as was this moral wound to Poland, 
her political unity was still unscathed. The Musco- 
vites had yielded to her arms, and, thus released from 
the oppression of their Tatar-bred princes, offered 
to transfer their obedience to Sigismond III. But 
Poland, not actuated by the grasping spirit of abso- 
lute monarchism, rejected the offer, unwilling to 
associate herself with a people with whom she had 
no sympathies, national or religious, and leaving 
them to find another Czar, devoted all her energies 
to the renewal of the union of Florence ; an object 
which was finally effected late in the sixteenth cen- 
tury. Still there were many recusants ; and hence 



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278 UNIONISTS AND DISUNIONISTS. 

arose the two sects distinguished as the unionists 
and disunionists of the Greek Church. 

Whilst other European governments were gradu- 
ally degenerating into absolute monarchies^ Poland, 
although too firmly established in social and poli- 
tical liberty to make so retrograde a step, was never- 
theless checked in her career of reform by theologi- 
cal disputes, and remained vacillating between pro- 
gress and stagnation. Another source of disquietude 
was the rising discontent of the Cossacks; those 
adventurers constituting but one class of the nation ; 
no longer satisfied with the rights of freemen, which 
they had hitherto enjoyed, demanded to share in all 
the prerogatives of the Polish nobility, even in that 
of electing the sovereign. To grant these preroga- 
tives to a people so numerous, was deemed hazard- 
ous ; and the more so, as they were suspected of 
leaning towards the Muscovites, whose religion they 
professed. The Poles having rejected the Muscovite 
crown, expressly because they would not connect 
themselves with a nation differing so essentially from 
themselves, could not consent to admit the repre- 
sentatives of those very Muscovites amongst their 
senators. The Cossacks did not conceal their dis- 
satisfaction at the refusal, and they burst into open 
rebellion, massacred the unionists, and pillaged their 
property. Muscovy, considering them as so many 
armed supporters of the disunionist party, encou- 
raged their revolt ; and backed by her, they, sword in 



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RELIGIOUS CONCORD. 279 

hand, reiterated their demand. Poland remained in- 
flexible ; and, as her only answer, unsheathed the 
sword. The thirty years' war, which had desolated 
Germany, was succeeded by one of a century in 
Poland, carried on by Muscovy, under the banner 
of the Russo-Greek religion. At length one portion 
of the Cossacks, under the promise (never fulfilled) 
of the same liberties they had hitherto enjoyed, sub- 
mitted to the dominion of Muscovy; a second to 
that of Turkey, and the third and largest remained 
faithful to Poland. 

At the commencement of the eighteenth century, 
religious dissensions had of themselves ceased in 
Poland. The priests of the disunited church 
again joined that of Rome, and in 1710 not a 
single schismatic bishop remained : but though the 
union of Florence was generally received in all the 
cities, its progress was less rapid among the villages. 
It was once more solemnly declared in Zamosc 
(1 720),andcivil privileges cemented religious concord. 
Sobieski was the last European monarch who drew 
his sword in defence of Christianity. The eighteenth 
century beheld the completion of the work of evil 
commenced amid the din of arms two centuries before. 
Diplomacy, standing armies, commercial advantages, 
were the considerations which now influenced every 
national question; and Muscovy, with her Asiatic 
Tatar spirit, naturally took the lead in this atheis- 
tical disposition of hunian affairs. At this very time 



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280 REFORM OF PETER THE GREAT. 

she underwent a new metamorphosis. In proportion 
as the Christian spirit of Europe cooled, Muscovy 
encroached with giant steps upon her, each period 
being marked by the appearance of some individual 
destined to add a new feature to the colossal form. 
Ivan the Cruel was the contemporary of Luther ; and 
now, when the last glow of Christian fervour faded 
on the banks of the Dnieper, some evil genius of the 
North showed to Peter the Great the kingdoms of 
the world, and whispered " the hour is come." By 
intuition rather than by study, Peter comprehended 
" the signs of the times," broke off his correspond- 
ence with the French academy, and commenced a 
refonn consistent with the peculiar character of his 
mind. He first usurped the patriarchal dignity, pro- 
nouncing himself the mediator between his subjects 
and their God. He next compelled his subjects, by 
the terror of the knout, to adopt the European style 
of dress, improvised a capital, a new form of govern- 
ment, an academy, a fleet, an army, and finally a 
cabinet, which, by secret springs, set in motion the 
infernal machine, framed with a view to perpetual 
aggression. The inheritance of Ivan, thus meta- 
morphosed, might perhaps no longer bear the name 
of Muscovy. While Frederick the Great pored over 
ancient chronicles, doubtful whether to call his king- 
dom Prussia or Vandalia, Peter the Great, more poli- 
tic than erudite, looking, with prophetic eagerness, 
only to the future, set the past at defiance, and 



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PARTITION OF POLAND. 281 

announcing that the word Czar had the same signifi- 
cation as emperor, commanded his empire and his 
subjects to be henceforth called Russia and Russians. 
Prussia, Holland, and England, congratulated Peter 
upon his ingenious invention, and at a later period? 
France followed their example. Poland alone un- 
derstood the significance of the word, and so long 
as her voice was free, called Muscovy by her real 
name ; but the Czarism insinuating itself, like the 
serpent into Europe, gradually enclosed Poland in 
its strangling grasp, and shared the victim's spoils 
with the two sceptered robbers who had assisted in 
the guilty deed. 

By the partition of Poland, Muscovy and Austria 
became possessed of the territory once called Rus- 
sia. Austria gave to her portion, the forgotten name 
of Galicia ; and Muscovy thought that she had now 
acquired a sufficient pretext for her newly assumed 
name. In the disquietude arising from the con- 
sciousness of robbery, Russia endeavoured, by the 
aid of hireling writers, national as well as foreign, 
to impose on the European public, by asserting that 
the dynasty of Romanoff was identical with that 
of Rurik, and that the Russia of the Scandinavian 
warriors was the same as the Muscovy of Ivan the 
Cruel. The monarchs of Europe, whether Protes- 
tant or Catholic, judging nations according to an 
atheistic code, did not refer to the testimony of 
ages. The Russian cabinet dictating treaties as 



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282 POLISH NATIONALITY. 

well as history, alone knew the nature of its power 
and the origin of its subjects*. 

The Czarine Catherine, a monster in female form, 
and head of the Russo-Greek creed, in contemplating 
the newly acquired Polish provinces, still feared to 
meet with something that should resist all her efforts 
to destroy their nationality. She beheld the nobles 
there as elsewhere, Poles in blood and heart. They 
might be robbed of their property, and liberty ; but 
only by effecting their moral corruption, could she 
hope to extinguish it amongst them. She therefore 
deferred the execution of her design against the 
nobles, and taking a lower aim, directed her atten- 
tion to the cities. Tradesmen of every description 
were found enjoying the same privileges and liberties 
as the nobility, speaking the same language, and 
breathing the same spirit. Descending still lower, 
Catherine perceived with vexation, that in the vil- 
lages also, a Sclavonian language prevailed, differing 
but little from that spoken by the higher classes ; and 
the spirit of the peasantry, if less intense, was still 
essentially Polish. She sighed (if indeed she could 
sigh), and began once more to review her newly 

* The history of Russia, which lately appeared in Dr. Lardner s 
Cyclopaedia, is rather an eastern tale, than an historical work. 
The distinction between Muscovy, and what was once called 
Russia, is still preserved ; the Muscovites calling themselves 
Bossianie (Rossians), and their country Rossia, while the inhabi- 
tants of Russia call themselves Rusini (Russians), and their 
country — Rus. 



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RELIQIOUS PERSECUTION. 283 

acquired subjects. On Sundays, she saw the nobles 
and tradesmen in her Russo-Polish provinces go to 
the Catholic churches. In Lithuania there were 
no other than Catholic churches thronged by the 
peasants, and not a single Russo-Greek Basilic. South- 
wards she found a few, and in Podolia and Ukraina, 
she discovered that a large portion of the peasantry 
frequented the chapels of the disunited Greek creed, 
and at once discerned where to strike the first blow 
against the union effected by Jagellon's marriage. 
Then commenced the moral attack which has ever 
since been undeviatingly carried on for forty years. 
In 1794, Catherine issued an ukase, declaring the 
union to have been effected by compulsion, and 
prescribing the rules by which unionists should be 
converted to the rival creed. All resistance against 
this violation of the liberty of conscience, was pro- 
nounced tantamount to high treason. A propa- 
ganda commenced by the agency of civil and 
.military force, and the cruelties then committed, 
can only be compared with those exercised during 
the persecutions of the primitive Christians. The 
churches of the new creed, however, remained, in 
many districts, as empty as the prohibited temples ; 
the peasantry preferring to go to distant towns to 
offer up their prayers according to the mode of their 
fathers : but in many parts of Ukraina and Podolia 
she effected her purposes. Nicholas always ex- 
cepted, Catherine was the most merciless of Poland's 
oppressors, and this artful measure proved fatal to 



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284 SLAVERY IS THE CHARACTER 

the southern states, and severed the great tie between 
the peasantry and nobles. 

Less philosophical than his mother, Paul, who 
looked upon his dominions and their inhabitants 
merely as so much property, issued in 1796 an 
ukase, dividing all Russia into goubernies (govern- 
ments), in which were afterwards included the Russo- 
Polish provinces constituting the goubernies o' 
Kiow (Ukraina), Podolia, and Volhynia. 

The emperor Alexander adopted a different policy 
from that of his grandmother. The Polish pro- 
vinces could not be reduced to a similarity with 
Russia, without first receiving that peculiar Musco- 
vite organization, by which despotism is extended 
from the throne to the lowest class, and which may 
be called the back-bone of the Russian automaton 
framed after the likeness of a civilized society. 
Above all, it was deemed necessary to give the 
nobles despotic power over the peasants, in order 
more effectually to rivet the despotism of the auto- 
crat over themselves ; in other words, to attach the 
nobles to an immoral government by an immoral 
tie. Such is the life-blood of the giant power, and 
all its laws, regulations, and ukases, however discord- 
ant with each other, still agree in this principle 
of evil. The administration of the provinces was 
accordingly changed. Under the Polish government, 
taxes were levied upon the soil, which effectually 
excluded slavery. Russia, in accordance with her 
Tatar principle, counted the souls of men, and made 



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OF RUSSIAN ADMINiaTRATION. 285 

the register of the population the basis of her I 
system of taxation. The distinction between free I 
peasants and vassals of the nobility, was thus j 
abolished, and the memory of it survived only in 1 
the double taxes, thenceforth extorted from the once , 
independent peasants. Landlords were made an- 
swerable for the payment of these taxes, and thus 
rendered accomplices of the Czar's oppression. 

Military service, formerly a career of glorious 
emulation, now devolved entirely on the peasants? 
attended by all the horrors of Muscovite conscrip- 
tion. The word " conscript," epitomizes the misery 
of the Russo-Polish peasant, loaded with chains 
like a criminal, and driven by blows to the camp. 
If no other affliction weighed him down, this alone 
would make him regret the Poland of other days 
as a lost paradise. The proprietors of the soil were 
also rendered responsible for the quota of conscripts 
required by the ukases. 

Nicholas, a true descendant of Catherine, claimed 
Ukraina as having been dismembered from the 
inheritance of Rurik. With genuine Muscovite 
tyranny, he was labouring to establish a similar 
right to the Podolian and Volhynian provinces, 
when the Poles once more denied his pretensions, 
and in the struggle of 1831, amid torrents of blood, 
asserted their ancient limits. That blood is not 
yet cold, nor that struggle ended. It began on 
the banks of the Dnieper, ten centuries back ; — 



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286 ENTHUSIASM OF THE VOLHYNIANS. 

there it again raged in full force seven years ago ; — 
it pines now in silence, and in dungeons. 

" The intelligence of the insurrection in Warsaw," 
says a Volhynian writer*, " was received by us with 
" the joy that a child might feel at the sight of its 
" mother awakening from a death-like trance. We 
" sought our friends and neighbours, our counte- 
" nances expressing the ardent patriotism of our 
" souls. The young, beaming with the hope of 
" recovering our native land, our liberties, and rights. 
** The aged renewed in strength, and the women 
" lamenting the weakness of their sex. We spoke 
" but little; — the silent joy of our Polish hearts 
" showing itself in the warmer pressure of each 
" other's hands." That intelligence arrived acci- 
dentally about the 20th of December, and spread 
rapidly through the other two provinces. Had a 
single Polish detachment then been sent amongst 
them, it would soon have swelled into a formidable 
army. But so energetic a measure was never con- 
templated by the Dictator, who would not even con- 
sent that the provinces should be invited to co-ope- 
rate, whilst they waited for his signal in anxious 
expectation. While Chlopicki thus condemned the 
patriots to inaction, no measure of precaution was 
omitted by the Russian government. On the 
day (December 13th) when Constantine entered 

* Memoirs of Colonel Charles Rozycki. 



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RUSSIAN OPPRESSION. 287 

Volhynia, the emperor signed an ukase, which placed 
the sister countries under martial law. He accom- 
panied a second, assuring the nobles of his confi- 
dence in their loyalty, by a private injunction that 
they should give public testimony of it, and addresses 
were consequently forwarded to St Petersburgh, and 
paraded in the journals, dictated by a power which, 
not satisfied with corporeal oppression, tortured the 
secret feelings of the soul, to ascertain how much 
dignity, loftiness, and patriotism still harboured 
there. Ukraina, Podolia, and Volhynia, contain 
53,328 square miles, with a population of about 
four millions and a half. Of these, 300,000 are 
nobles — 500,000 Jews, or Greek and Armenian ad- 
venturers, ever ready to side with the strongest party, 
and the remainder peasants, nearly all professing the 
Russo-Greek creed. The insurrection would, there- 
fore, have been at first confined to the nobility, who, 
on that account, were now more closely watched 
than ever, not only by the civil and military autho- 
rities, but by the priests (popes), who were enjoined 
to employ the moments of confession in persuading 
the peasants to act as spies and informers, and even 
to use violence against their Catholic lords. Blas- 
phemous proclamations against the insurgents were 
officially read from the pulpits, and sermons were 
preached, announcing that the end of the world 
would follow upon their success. Yet, before Mus- 
covy can effectually establish her iron rule, she must 
destroy every generous sentiment of the human 



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288 OPPRESSION OF THE PEASANTRY. 

heart. Perhaps it is only in an icy atmosphere, and 
amongst a peculiarly constituted nation, that a sys- 
tem such as hers can prosper. The people, although 
weighed down by centuries of misfortune, are still 
as rich in noble feelings as their fair fields are in their 
fertility. Sighing over the present, aged peasants 
remember better days — the days of Polish rule. 
Fettered by inhuman oppression, they look for re- 
lief only to the nobles — the men of Polish birth. 
After the partition, the preservation of the country's 
hopes devolved exclusively on them, and they ac- 
quitted themselves as true Poles only in proportion 
as they truly practised Christian virtues. When 
called upon to render an account of their high trust, 
it has often happened, that many a Russo-Greek 
priest, or government officer, has been found to 
sympathize in deeds as well as words with Poland, 
and not a single peasant has been known to betray 
his lord. In speaking of their country, their usual 
expression, accompanied by sighs, was, " God grant 
'* us better times— the times of old. May God 
'^ prosper those who are well disposed towards 
" us." 

Disappointed of all aid from Warsaw, moral and 
material, the patriots at length resolved to rise with- 
out. Enthusiasm, gave way to prudence, and secret 
associations were formed, in order to make the neces- 
sary preparations with security in the presence of 
a vigilant enemy. Their emissary Nyko returned 
in March with Prince Czartory ski's answer:— "That 



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DWERNICKI IN VOLHYNIA. 289 

" the government leaves it to the consciences of the 
" citizens to decide upon the propriety of rising." 
A secret meeting was therefore held, and the insur- 
rection in Podolia and Ukraina resolved on, befal 
what might the national arms within the kingdom. 
Each of the twenty-four districts was to furnish 
600 horsemen fully equipped, and the 5th of May 
was fixed for the rising. It was decided to give 
unconditional liberty to the peasants, and to make 
them proprietors of the soil they cultivated, but not 
to put arms into their hands until the Russian au- 
thorities should be driven away, or some position 
gained, lest the priests or government agents should 
tempt them to acts of violence. It was also pro- 
posed to send to Warsaw all articles of plate for the 
support of the common cause, and to levy a separate 
contribution amongst themselves for that of their 
own insurrection. The Volhynians were not able to 
form associations on a scale equal to that of the two 
other provinces, owing to the presence of a larger 
Russian force ; but many rich individuals continued 
to make ready privately for the first favourable 
opportunity. Such was the state of affairs when 
Dwemicki arrived. 

On reaching Zamosc, he had dispatched towards 
Uscilug a reconnoitring party, which surprised a 
Russian detachment, and took 500 prisoners. He 
then himself advanced towards Volhynia ; and, on 
the 10th of April crossed the Bug, with his small, 
but tried band, of 1346 infantry, 2523 cavalry, and 

u 



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290 VICTORY OF BOREMEL. 

the artillery men attached to 12 cannon, amounting, 
in all, to 4088. Returning thanks to Heaven for 
allowing him once more to unsheathe his sword in 
those countries, Dwernicki followed the steps of the 
enemy along the frontiers of Galicia. On the first 
day's march he destroyed 100 Cossacks; the next 
he cut to pieces at Foryck a regiment of Russian 
cavalry, and from thence addressed a proclamation 
to the Volhynians, which terminated thus :— " I bring 
" you your nationality and your liberty. Rise now 
** or never!" But these stirring words reached no 
farther than the enemy's columns, and were lost 
there. The Russian General Rudiger retreated with 
13,000 troops, unwilling to face Dwernicki without 
being first reinforced. On the 16th, the latter halted 
at Druzkopol, where he instituted a provincial 
government, and was joined by 100 insurgents. On 
the 1 9th, he arrived at Boremel, where Rudiger 
having discovered his numerical inferiority, no longer 
declined an engagement The river Sty r lay between 
them, and the Russians lost a day in unsuccessful 
attempts to take the bridge, and the Poles 300 men 
in defending it In the night Dwernicki was in- 
formed that the Russians were crossing the river 
higher up. " So much the better/' was his reply — 
*^ to-morrow we shall beat them, and cross in our 
*^ turn/' On the 1^, about noon, Rudiger com- 
menced his attadbKy fei heavy cannonade, and Dwer- 
nicki leaving; his inibntry to guard the bridge, and a 
part of hi« eavftlry.to watch another important pointy. 



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BATTLE OF VLADIMIR. 291 

with the remainder threw himself upon the enemy. 
The combat^ as was ever the case when he <x)m- 
manded, was soon over. His lancers first silenced 
the artillery, and by two brilliant charges routed the 
Russian cavalry, killing 800 men (amongst whom 
was a general officer) and taking 400 prisoners, 
besides eight cannon— their own loss being 400 
killed and wounded. This victory was one of the 
few recorded in military annals gained over an enemy 
four times as numerous as the conquerors. On the 
20th, Dwemicki passed the Styr, and just at the 
moment of his leaving Boremel, Count Stecki, with 
120 insurgents, took possession of the town of Vla- 
dimir, and expelled the Russian authorities, to the 
great satisfaction of the inhabitants. But their joy 
was of short duration. General Davidoff dispatched 
by Kreutz with a reinforcement to Rudiger,intercepted 
Dwemicki*s communication with Zamosc; and, being 
in close pursuit of him, surprised the little band at 
Vladimir. After a short skirmish, the cavalry s^ed 
themselves by flight, and joined Dwernicki's 42arps ; 
but the infantry, after a stout resistance in u barri*^ 
caded house, were compelled to surrender. The 
Cossacks set fire to the house, with the intention of 
destroying the Countess Stecka, who Uad been' em^ 
ployed during the action in tearing up cttsfaions and 
chair covers to make cartridges for the soldiers- 
Her life was saved by two Russian officers. 

On leaving Boremel, Dwernicki endeavoured, by 
haaty marches to reach Podolia, to support the 



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202 BATTLE OF LULINCE. 

intended rising ; but Rudiger (whose force was now 
more than doubled) resolved to prevent him, and 
also to cut him off from Galicia, which protected 
his flank, by occupying a strong position near 
Lulince, a village close to the frontiers of that pro- 
vince, and but a few miles from that of Podolia. 
Dweniicki, however, outmarched him, and arriving 
there on the 23rd of April, two hours before him, 
made ready for battle. This Rudiger still declined, 
notwithstanding his great superiority in numbers, 
and after two days of ineffectual manoeuvres to 
entice Dwernicki from his position, sent a detach- 
ment over the Austrian frontiers, surprised two 
Austrian sentinels, and attacked the Poles in the 
rear. Dwernicki had now no other resource than to 
enter the Austrian territory, driving the Russians 
before him ; and they fought until an Austrian 
colonel interfered ; but the Russians still continued 
to pursue the Poles, and killed fifteen of their men 
after they had ceased to fire. By an order from 
Vienna, the Poles were disarmed, and sent into the 
interior of Austria, whilst the prisoners and cannoii 
they had taken, were restored to the Russians, who 
were permitted to leave the territory unmolested. 
By the connivance of the Galicians, however, nearly 
all the Poles, about 3000, made their escape, and 
returned to Poland, all but their gallant chief, who 
was too closely imprisoned. After this calamity the 
people used to say, " with Dwernicki fortune has 
" forsaken us ; " and indeed the loss of his corps, 



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INSURRECTION PARALYZED, 203 

known only by its victories, was fatal to the re- 
mainder of the campaign. Dwemicki has since said> 
that, with one more regiment of experienced infantry 
Poland would now have been independent. Yet 
history will reproach him for having left Zamosc 
before either Chrzanowski or Sierawski could bring 
him support. On quitting Boremel, he should have 
returned to Zamosc, when he perceived the impossi- 
bility of successfully contending against the over- 
whelming force of the enemy. The error also he 
committed in keeping close to the Austrian frontier 
was so striking, that, when it was known at Skrzy- 
necki's head-quarters, Chrzanowski pronounced at 
once that he was lost. Or had he even marched 
from Boremel into the middle of the country, he 
would have found thousands of willing hearts and 
hands, and his incomparable cavalry would have 
increased to 30,000 men, mounted on chargers, swift 
as the winds of the Ukraina steppes. 

" The fate of Dwernicki," says the beforenamed 
Volhynian writer, " acted upon us as does the ice 
" upon our rivers. To outward appearance, we 
" became motionless and frozen, but the current of 
** patriotism and hope flowed unchecked beneath.'* 
Their bright anticipations had been chilled, but, 
determined to assert to the last that the rights of 
Poland ceased not to be imprescriptible even de 
facto in any of her provinces, they resolved that the 
rising should take place. In this also they were 
unfortunate ; and their plan was disconcerted by 



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294 INSURGENTS AT 6RAN0W. 

Dwernicki'8 agent, who, after appointing the 27th 
of April for the commencement of the insun^ction, 
countermanded his order on the very day. GiBat 
numbers were of course compromised. Of these some 
escaped to Galicia, and some were sent to Siberia. 
Some few fled to the woods, where they organized 
insurgent bands, aided by women who risked their 
lives to supply them with arms, ammunition, and 
food. These were, however, soon dispersed by the 
Russians. 

Much in the same way was the outbreak para- 
lyzed in Podolia and Ukraina ; but the patriots in 
those provinces having greater facilities for acting 
in concert, were able to bring together at Granow on 
the 13th of May, a body of 2600 men, consisting 
of 17 squadrons of cavalry, and two foot companies, 
with one piece of cannon. Yelowicki*s squa- 
dron stood foremost, where the aged chief and 
his three sons served in the same rank with their 
followers. Next came that of Alexander Sobanski, 
whom his countrymen likened to another Achilles. 
There also were the squadrons of Potocki, in whose 
race the bleeding sires bequeathed their patriotism 
to their children ; of Waclaw Rzewuskl, caUed the 
Emir by the Turks, on account of the exceeding 
beauty of his chargers, and his unequalled skill as 
their rider, — a poet, moreover, a musician, and a peiv 
feet master of arms. The supreme command was 
entrusted to General Kolyszko, a companion of 
Kosciuszko, eighty years of age. The next con- 



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ADDRESS OF Y^LOWIECKI. 395 

taideration was, what to do ? The old general pre- 
sided like a p$(,triarch, giving no directions, hut 
iistening to the suggestions of all* Unskilled in 
tactics, but confident in their valour, the patriots 
thought only of preparing the peasants to take arms* 
They therefore immediately adjourned to Granow, 
an estate belonging to Prince A. Czartoryski, where 
his benevolent administration had been rewarded 
with the filial affection of his vassals. A summons 
being issued, the Russo-Greek priests assembled in 
the church, with numbers of the aged peasants, 
and were thus addressed by Alexander Yelowiecld : 
^VBehold your sons," he said, pointing to a squadron 
composed solely of peasants, " Ask them whether 
" they took arms willingly ?" — (here a shout bore 
loud witness to Uieir enthusiasm). " They are now 
" free, and from henceforth on an equality with 
their masters. We offer you the same freedom ; 
deliverance from Russian oppression, from servi- 
tude, and from conscription. The soil you 
^^ cultivate shall be your own. Your sons, if 
" they will receive instruction, shall become magis^ 
*' trates or officers. You will be governed by the 
^^ same laws with ourselves ; you will become 
" Poles. Your fathers thought themselves happy 
*' in living under Polish government. Yoiv con- 
** dition will now be infinitely better. Yjo^i 
" landlords have long desired to make you happy, 
" but have been prevented by the Czar, which 
'* title means not God, but Devil (Czort). You 



u 



(C 



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296 ADDRESS OF YELOWIECKI. 

^' are witness that many of your landlords have 
<< been sent to Siberia for merely wishing to make 
" you free. At length God has shewn his mercy 
^^ upon them and you. The Poles have driven 
^' away the Czar who called himself their king, 
'^ and they have now a king of their own nation. 
" You know that your own prince is now king of 
^' Poland^5 and you know also that the Czar has sent 
" all his troops against the Poles. You have seen 
" them pass, but you will not see them return, for 
^' half have already perished and the rest shall also fall. 
" The blessing of God is on a righteous cause. He 
^* has commanded to fight for freedom, and who 
" fights not for freedom, never shall be free. You 
" are well aware that we have power to oppress 
" you, we have been made rich by your toil, and 
** might remain so, but we have left our palaces^ 
" and renounced our riches, to liberate you from 
" bondage, to restore you to those rights of freemen 
'^ which God gave and the Czar has taken away. 
" We are willing, we are prepared to die for our 
'^ native land, but alone and unassisted, we cannot 
" uphold the freedom which we bring you. You 
" also must fight, if you would transmit to your 
" children freedom, wealth, and happiness. Follow 
" therefore the example of your sons. Join with 
" us, and we will lead you to victory, and then 

* A report had spread amongst the peasants that Prince Czar- 
toryski was become king of Poland. 



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BATTLE OF DASZOW. 297 

" return to render thanks to God for allowing us 
^* to drive away the Czort (the Devil)." During 
this true portraiture of their wretched condition, 
the peasants could not refrain from tears^ and 
solemnly promised that their sons should fight. 
The priests did not weep; but on being assured 
that their religion would be respected, and parti- 
cularly when they were told that their ecclesiastical 
profits would be increased, they did not spare holy 
water, nor their blessings on the insurgents. The 
same day some hundred young villagers of Granow, 
joined the army, and there was no longer any doubt 
of the peasantry. The first victory was to be the 
signal for their rising. That victory was not 
granted to the patriots. The following day they 
marched towards Daszow, hoping to surprise a 
detachment of Russians stationed in Biala Cerkiew. 
But so entirely had they neglected every military 
precaution, that they did not even conjecture that 
General Rott was close behind them, until having 
taken position about four miles beyond Daszow, 
a sudden firing proclaimed his approach. One 
squadron repulsed him twice, but on the death of 
its chief, retired in confusion. Major Orlikowski 
with two more then advanced, and General Rott 
stopping short ordered a cannonade, which not 
proving at first very destructive, the Poles called 
upon their chief to lead them on. Orlikowski, 
however, who perceived that Kolyszko was pre- 
paring for a general charge, would not run this 



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208 BATTLE OF DASZOW. 

risk) and ordered them to retire. Unused to mili- 
tary phrase, they did not understand the command 
until it was reiterated a third time in ordinary 
language; and some few voices from the ranks, 
then exclaiming) " we are lost, let us escape," the 
panic spread, and they all fled with ungovernable 
speed. The rush of the fugitives disordered the 
first squadron of Kolyszko's column, which fell back 
on the second, and thus successively all the seven* 
teen were thrown into utter confusion. The vene- 
rable general tore his grey locks in despair, and 
other chiefs endeavoured, but without success, to 
rally their men. " Shall it be said that Polish 
*^ nobles fled before the enemy" thought the few, 
(about fifty in number,) who vainly opposed the 
fatal flight, and drawing themselves up at the 
entrance of Daszow, they awaited unmoved the 
advancing foe. They were a noble band, llieir 
names are amongst the most illustrious in the 
heraldic annals of Poland. Possessed of many 
thou£(and miles of territory, lords over many 
thousand subjects, a single tomb may now con^* 
tain these willing martyrs for the freedom and 
welfare of all. " Forward," they shouted, and fell 
like the thunder-bolt upon the hostile columns. 
Each wdiS opposed to many, each dealt his deadly 
blows. They took the enemy's cannon, and killed 
hundreds of Russians. They were entirely sur* 
rounded, but, Decius like, they hewed a passage 
with their swords, and effected their retreat. Awed 



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VICTORY OF TYVROW AND OF OBODNE. 299 

by such valour^ the Russians retired four miles 
from Daszow, yet General Rott afterwards reported 
that he had vanquished many thousands^ and that^ 
notwithstanding the desperate resistance^ he had 
lost only 200 men. The insurgents lost only 
their single piece of caanon and six men killed. 
But their moral defeat was complete. Of the 
seventeen squadrons 400 only remained; the rest 
dispersed in the woods^ and many were afterwards 
taken and sent to Siberia. 

On the 17th of May^the remaining handfull of 
insurgents fell in at Ty vrow with two Russian squa- 
drons. General Kolyszko would have avoided a 
battle^ but Edward Yelowiecki, upon the plea that 
a victory would raise the courage of the soldiers^ 
obtained permission to pass the river Boh, and 
charge with 200 men. The squadrons were com- 
pletely destroyed, and the few who escaped the 
sword, perished in the river. This success, however, 
rendered no material service to the insurgents, who 
remained surrounded on all sides. In the moment 
of perplexity, they intercepted a dispatch from the 
Russism general Szczucki, by which they learned 
that he was advancing, with three squadrons and 
two cannon, to cut oflf their retreat The letter 
was no sooner read, than the sound of artillery 
gave notice of his attack ; but so sudden and vehe- 
ment was their onset, that, before he could fire a 
second time, they had taken his guns, and put his 
cavalry to flight. This occurred At Obodne, the 19th 



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300 DEFEAT OF MATDANEK. 

of May, and on that day many were the Russian 
veterans who laid down their arms at sight of 
lances, waving the flags embroidered in secret by 
Polish ladies, and yet warm with their sighs and 
tears. Of the three squadrons only three men 
escaped, the general himself being amongst the 
prisoners. Major Orlikowski was deeply affected by 
these successes, and bitterly reproached himself with 
having ruined the cause by his retrograde movement 
at Daszow. The insurgents finding their prisoners 
an incumbrance, released them next day, accompa- 
nying their clemency in this instance, as in many 
others, with liberal gifts of money, and eloquent 
discourses on liberty. It would seem that Poland 
so long martyred, and still a stranger to any vindic- 
tive feeling, was not yet destined to recover her in- 
dependence by the shedding of blood. Christian 
magnanimity has remained like a flower twined in 
her wreath of thorns. May its seed not fall upon 
the rock, but bring forth fruit in its appointed 
season ! 

Kolyszko marched his victorious band to the dis- 
trict of Latyczew, not far from Kamieniec Podolski, 
to join another party of insurgents; but still in- 
cautious, although in a country swarming with foes, 
his rear-guard was surprised at Maydanek on the 
23rd of May, by 2000 Russians. After a long 
struggle the Poles were overpowered by numbers, 
and many perished. The aged Yelowiecki and his 
son were found lying side by side amongst the 



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DEATH OF ORLIKOWSKI. 301 

slain^ and Orlikowski beholding the defeat^ and 
€ver reproaching himself as the cause of every mis- 
fortune, threw down the sword with which he had 
defended the cannon to the last, and shot himself in 
presence of the victorious army. Kolyszko, with 
the wreck of his men, was compelled to take 
refuge (26th of May) in the Austrian territory. 

In the north of Volhynia, near its capital^ 
Zytomir, Major Charles Rozycki, since the fall of 
Napoleon, had lived in retirement upon his own 
estates. His high character had secured the esteem 
and confidence of his countrymen, who, on the 
outbreak of the insurrection in Warsaw, looked to 
him as their future chief. Owing to the luckless 
counter-order of Dwernicki's agent, instead of the 
800 rifles and 600 horse, who would have assembled 
at his call, he could collect only 120 of the last, and 
with them he left his home, a wife and five children> 
regardless of the cruel ukases which condemned 
such orphans to Siberia. Still further, to inspire 
his men with confidence in him, he bound hims.elf 
by the following oath : — ^'. The moment is come 
" when divine mercy shines forth- The tyrant's 
" forces vanish beneath the sword of our brethren. 
" I, Charles Rozycki, elected your leader, swear 
" before the Almighty to use my powers only for 
" the good of the fatherland. No human force, no 
'^ fear of persecution, shall intimidate me, nor all 
'* the treasures of the enemy, nor any personal 
*• views, bribe me to change. So help me God, and 



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808 VICTORY OF MOLOCZKI. 

^^ the martyrdom of Christ/" His men havings on 
their part, sworn unlimited obedience, he gave them 
some instruction in tactics, and suggested that on 
going into battle they should be drawn up in a 
single rank, and reply to the savage hurrah of the 
enemy, " Glory to God!" He then marched at 
once into Podolia to join Kolyszko, and on the 
30th of May destroyed at Cudnow a party of 150 
foot and horse, escorting 560 conscripts, whom he 
sent back to their homes. On the news of the 
unfortunate defeat, and subsequent withdrawal of 
Kolyszko into Galicia, he bravely resolved to retrace 
his steps through Volhynia, in order to join the 
national standard in the kingdom, and his men 
consented to follow him in this career of a thousand 
perils. During this retrograde movement his band 
augmented, in a few days, to two squadrons. By 
great speed, and sudden changes in the line of 
march, he avoided falling in with any overwhelming 
force. A battalion of the Russian regiment, named 
after the Duke of Wellington, barred his passage at 
Moloczki, in Volhynia, and fell, where it stood, to 
rise no more. Only three soldiers remained unhurt, 
and these accepted service with the patriots ; twenty 
wounded were salt, provided with money, to the 
next village, but had not strength to reach it The 
remaining 600 had p^ished. Raising their holy 
war-cry, " Glory to God ! " Rozycki and his men 
pursued their course day and night. At Ulcho he 
intercepted a convoy of cannon, and sunk them in 



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VICTORY OF UCHANIE. 303 

the river Slucz ; at Ostrog he took 200 ammunition 
waggons, the contents of which he also sunk, and 
gave the waggons to the peasants. On arriving 
(May 31) at Miedzyrzec, where was a college, 
under the superintendence of the Piarists (priests), 
he found it impossible to withstand the earnest 
desire of the elder students to form a squadron, and 
join him. To the younger pupils (between fourteen 
and fifteen) he positively refused his permission. 
Unknown to him, however, the lads contrived to 
conceal themselves in the baggage waggons, and 
the next day many of them were barbarously mur- 
dered in an affair with the Russians, just as he was 
leaving the town ; fifty of the Russians were killed, 
and as many taken prisoners. The rest fled, but 
having for a moment possession of the waggons, 
they destroyed these children, and were only pre- 
vented, by a hot pursuit, from slaughtering every 
one of them. Two of the elder students were found 
in the town, one already dead, and the other mor- 
tally wounded — ^three Russian soldiers laying slain 
beside them. The commandant of the two discom- 
fited squadrons having reported that he had encoun- 
tered several thousand insurgents, the Russians 
withdrew their forces from the Bug, in order to 
cover their exposed points, and Rozycki then 
crossed the river. But he had yet many difficulties 
to surmount before arriving at Zamosc. At Uchanie 
he was obliged to fight his way through one regi- 
ment of dragoons and another of Cossacks, and 



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304 YOLHTNIAN REGIMENT. 

made 150 of them prisoners, besides taking 300 
horses and as many swords. He reached Zamosc 
on the 10th of June, after a march of 630 miles in 
twenty-eight days. His three squadrons were after- 
wards embodied as a regiment of Volhynian cavalry, 
himself being appointed colonel. It was considered 
one of the best in the army, and was much admired 
for its peculiar adoption of a single rank. Rozycki 
was a true champion of those countries ; and so long 
as they can furnish men like him, the descendants 
of Ivan the Cruel will not extend their rule to the 
shores of the Bug. 



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CHAPTER IX. 

Expedition against the Ghmrds. 

On receiving the melancholy intelligence (May 
9th), of the fate of Dwernicki's corps, Skrzynecki 
resolved to carry into immediate effect a plan long 
since suggested by Chrzanowski, against the imperial 
guards — and which, both in a political and military 
light, was well worthy attention. From the abso- 
lute immobility of this magnificent body of men, 
20,000 in number, commanded by the Grand Duke 
Michael, it would seem that it was originally 
merely intended to grace by its presence the 
triumphal re-entry of the Russians into Warsaw. At 
least it was evident that the emperor wished to spare 
a corps, the destruction of which, officered as it was, 
by the sons of the most illustrious Russian families, 
would have carried dismay into the very heart of the 
empire. Such, indeed, was the anxiety to preserve 
them from the slightest risk, that General Sacken, 
with 8000 men, was detached by Diebitch, to carry 
on the insignificant skirmishes against a Polish band, 
in which they must otherwise have engaged. 

X 



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306 GUARDS ih DANGER. 

Stationed in the palatinate of Plock, they fonned 
the enemy*8 extreme right wing, and any Polish 
attack upon them would be eminently favoured by 
the rivers Bug and Narew, and the fortress of Modlin. 
Another powerful inducement was the demand of 
the Lithuanians, who had now been long in arms, 
for troops, and especially for able officers. Their 
request had been urged in vain by Prince Czar- 
toryski, but the misfortune of Dwernicki at length 
decided the general-in-chief to send a reinforcement, 
in the hope that it might encourage the Lithuanians 
to form a new corps in the rear of the enemy. 
Skrzyneoki commenced his operations skilfully. 
He despatched General Chlapowski with the 1st 
lancers, accompanied by 100 officers and 100 
mounted infantry, to make their way into Lithuania, 
between the Russian army and the guards, taking 
good care, though with much affectation of secrecy, 
to make their departure public. Diebitch accord- 
ingly sent notice of it to the Grand Duke, in order 
to secure to him the honour of capturing the little 
band. The various detachments of the guards which 
had been stationed at intervals between Lomza and 
Vysokie-Mazowieckie, were, in consequence, col- 
lected, and a division of cavalry, with one of in- 
fantry, marched upon Vonsew, while the Grand 
Duke, having the Narew on his rear, continued at 
Zambrowo with the remainder of the troops, believ- 
ing himself secure of his prey ; whilst, in fact, the 
very position he had chosen exposed him to 



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BATTl*E or YENDRZEYOW. 307 

complete defeat. Quitting the environs of Kaluszyn 
on the 12th, Skrzynecki, to cover his manoeuvre, 
left there 12,000 men, under General Uminski, with 
orders, in case of attack, to resist the enemy as long 
as possible, but if needs must, to fall back on the 
walls of Praga, and there renew the contest, assisted 
by the garrison (fiOOO men), and the national guard 
of Warsaw. Diebitch, although aware that only a 
detachment had departed for Lithuania, advanced 
on the 13th, with his whole force, towards Kaluszyn, 
to reconnoitre the Polish army. Upon this the 
advanced-guard of the Poles immediately abandoned 
the town, and joined Uminski, who was advantage- 
ously posted, with the main body, at Yendrzeyow. 
The enemy proceeded straight forward, and attacked 
them. The Poles stood firm for eight hours, and 
then retired, without any pursuit, Diebitch imagin- 
ing from their resistance, Skrzynecki to be on the 
ground ; and little suspecting that he was, on the 
contrary, advanced two days^ march in an opposite 
direction, returned to his camp at Siedlce. 

This success enabled Skrzynecki to pursue his 
plan without molestation. He received the intelli^ 
gen(% of it on the 15th at S^ock, where be made 
the following distribution of hii^ forces. General 
Dembinski, with 4000 men, marched along the right 
bank of the Narew, with orders to dislodge Sacken's 
corps from the bridge opposite Ostrolenka ; and in. 
the event of the guards endeavouring to retreat in 
that direction, to cut off their passage, by destroying 



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308 DISTRIBUTION OF POLISH TROOPS. 

it. Twelve thousand men, under General Lubienski, 
on the right bank of the Bug, were directed to observe 
Diebitch's movements, and to throw a bridge a<5ross 
the river for Uminski's corps, which was to follow 
Diebitch, step by step, and then join Skrzynecki, 
who, with the remainder of the forces, consisting of 
three infantry divisions and two of cavalry, was to 
advance in three separate columns. Towards the 
evening of the 16th a vanguard of the guards was 
met at Przetycza ; but being too weak for resistance, 
it retired, in haste, with the loss of some prisoners. 
The next day all the detachment of the guards 
assembled at Sokolow, and the Poles took a station 
in face of them, but night prevented further 
operations. 

The Grand Duke Michael was, no doubt, sur- 
prised to find himself so far repulsed by a little corps 
which he bad considered as his certain prize ; but 
he was undeceived as to the small number of his 
adversaries by a Polish officer, who was taken 
prisoner on the night of the 18th, and revealed that 
Skrzynecki himself was pr6sent with his force. The 
intelligence, however, came too late to be of any 
use. He was enclosed with his corps on an elbow 
formed by the Narew between Ostrolenka and 
Lomzaf and although there was a bridge at the 
latter place, yet, owing to its being surrounded by 
marshes, and only accessible by a dike a mile long, 
the letreat in that direction could not be effected 
without the greatest peril. There was also another 



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INDECISION OF SKRZYNECKI. 300 

road open to them, leading from Sniadow to Tyko- 
cin, but in passing that way there was great reason 
to apprehend that the Poles, who lay encamped 
within the distance of a cannon-shot, would be able 
to drive them into the marshes of the Narew, which 
extend along it. Thus even nature joined to favour 
the enterprise, but fortune in war smiles only on 
the bold. 

The morning of the 18th dawned on the Polish 
army, awaiting with general impatience the signal 
for attack. The day passed in disappointed expec- 
tation — that day which they trusted had been des- 
tined to carry consternation to Nicholas on his 
bloodnstained throne. Skrzynecki remained passive 
in the presence of the enemy, after having marched 
150 miles with the sole object of engaging them. 
He had conceived the unseasonable apprehension 
that Sacken, stationed at Ostrolenka, about ten miles 
off, would attack him in the rear ; and having, in , 
consequence, deprived himself of 10,000 men, whom I 
he sent, under General Gielgud, to assist Dembinski ■ 
to dislodge that corps, he could no longer hope that / 
his remaining force, thus diminished by a third of ^ 
its infantry, would be victorious over the guards 
whose resistance would be rendered still more reso- 
lute by despair. This was the consequence of not 
having listened to Chrzanowski, who had objected 
to the troops under Lubienski being sent away ; 
and proposed, by falling on the Russians with an 
overpowering force; to crush, on the same day, both 



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310 BATTLE OF RUDKL 

the guards and Sacken's corps. Gielgud found 
Dembinski in Ostrolenka, Sacken having withdrawn 
in alarm at his approach to occupy Lomza, from 
whence he could reinforce the guards with 8000 
men. Skrzynecki was thus compelled to wait 
another day until the return of Gielgud, which delay 
gave time for the guards to execute their retreat in 
perfect order. 

Early in the morning of the 20th the Polish army 
broke up, and towards the close of the day overtook 
a rear-guard of the enemy in the great forest of 
Rudki. Skrzynecki immediately attacked them, 
but owing to the night, and the thickness of the 
forest, could only capture one battalion. The same 
day Gielgud entered Lomza, which Sacken had 
quitted in great haste, leaving behind him 3000 
soldiers sick or wounded, and a quantity of baggage 
and ammunition. He then advanced along the 
chauss^e on the right of the Narew, hoping to in- 
tercept the guards at Tykocin, but a portion of them 
crossed the river there early on the 2l8t, and the 
rest at Zoltki ; but not having time to destroy the 
bridge, they were closely pursued by the Poles, 
who, however, could not get possession of a l(mg 
dyke, all the bridges over which had been broken 
up, and which was defended by several battalions 
and a powerful artiUery. During the night the 
Russians evacuated Tykocin, and so ended the ex- 
pedition against the guards. 

On the 22nd of May Skrzynecki assembled his 



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SKRZYNECKI AT TYKOCIN. 3(1 1 

troops at Tykocin, around the statue of Stephen 
Czarnecki, one of the heroes of Poland, to offer up 
their thanks to Heaven. It was a brilliant moment. 
Two bulletins, announcing his arrival on the Lithu- 
anian frontier, inspired the hope of ultimate success. 
Europe, which had but two months before daily 
expected to see Poland laid prostrate by a single 
blow, now scarcely knew whether most to admire 
the Poles, or to detest their oppressor. Many were 
the instances in which " Poland and Skrzynecki** 
were all but apotheosised ; and he, her hero, ranked 
amongst the greatest captains of all ages. The me- 
taphysical Germans outdid all other nations in their 
enthusiastic praise of his genius. " Mighty nature," 
so said one journalist, '* works and creates in still- 
" ness and in night. In stillness and in night 
" Skrzynecki meditates his plans, and the curious 
" Aurora beholds them grow and ripen.*^ Carica* 
tures of Diebitch and his Imperial master were 
everywhere exhibited, and the eulogists of Russia 
found themselves obliged to be silent. TTie enthu- 
siastic of all nations now believed that Skrzynecki 
was about to drive back the barbarian power, that, 
like the frost of Siberia, chills the breath of liberty 
in Europe. But such great works are accomplished 
only by men of as daring and mounting genius as 
Czarnecki, at the foot of whose statue he had knelt. 
By his indecision Skrzynecki had lost a second op- 
portunity, and it was doubtful whether the Russians 
would commit fresh blunders, and fortune offer him 



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312 ADDRESS TO THE LITHUANIANS. 

another. Whatever may now be the event, the 
Poles, at least, have done enough to merit the ad- 
miration of posterity. 

Though the expedition had failed in its principal 
object, it was still thought that important advantages 
would result from the arrival, in Lithuania, of the 
detachment under General Chlapowski, who, having 
passed between the guards and Diebitch*s army, 
reached that province on the 21st Prince Czarto- 
ryski, bitterly disappointed by the result of the ex- 
pedition against the guards, hastened to Skrzynecki^s 
head-quarters, carrying with him an address, drawn 
up by himself, from the National Government to 
the Lithuanians. As an historical document, embo- 
dying, in a masterly manner, the mind of its author ; 
ever striving, like a watchful father, to guide his 
countrymen in the noble path of their ancestors, it 
deserves to be recorded at length. 

" BRETHREN AND FELLOW CITIZENS! 

" The National Government of regenerated 
" Poland, rejoicing in at length being able to address 
" you in the name of liberty and of the bond of 
" brotherhood, hastens to describe to you the actual 
" state of our country, and to lay before you its 
'' necessities, its dangers, and its hopes. 

" The wall that separated us is broken down. 
" Our wishes and yours are realised; the Polish 
" eagle hovers over your land. United, heart and 
" hand, we shall henceforth labour together to 



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ADDRESS TO THE LITHUANIANS. 313 

" accomplish the difficult and dangerous, but great 
** and holy work of our country*8 restoration. 

" The manifesto of the Diet, in explaining the 
" motives which determined us to rise, expressed 
" your sentiments as well as ours. Our insurrec- 
" tion was scarcely organised, our resources were 
'^ yet feeble, and our plans still immature, when we 
*' proved to the world and to the Emperor Nicholas, 
'^ that we were animated by the same spirit, and 
" desirous to constitute, as formerly, one and the 
" same nation. The emperor Nicholas would not 
." hallow his brother^s tomb by a monument which, 
" during the life of Alexander, would have sealed 
" the glory of his reign. He would not view us 
*^ as injured Poles, as citizens of a free and inde- 
^< pendent country. No ; he chose to treat us as 
'^ rebel slaves of Russia. 

" We have arrested, we have repulsed his threat- 
^^ ening phalanxes. Some of the various corps 
" which compose our army, are here resisting his 
'^ main force ; others are penetrating your provinces, 
^^ to summon their brethren to the national standard. 
" You did not wait for the summons. From the 
" very commencement of the insurrection, many of 
'^ you declared their sentiments and their wishes in 
** the national assembly, and organised legions 
** distinguished by the names of your provinces ; 
*^ finally, whole districts of Lithuania and Volhynla 
" rose en masse. 



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314 ADDRESS TO THE LITHUANIANS. 

" The partition of Poland was pronounced a 
" crime by the unanimous voice of Europe. Who 
" at this day will revoke the decision ? Who will 
^ declare himself the champion of that deed ? No 
" one, assuredly; and we have even the well* 
^' grounded-hope that Europe will hasten to recog- 
^^ nise our existence as soon as we shall have proved 
" ourselves worthy of being an independent nation. 
" We will prove it by our courage, our union, and 
** our noble and moderate conduct. 

" Our insurrection is a consequence of our mis- 
^^ fortunes, and the oppression we have endured: 
^^ it was the wish of our hearts, and arises from the 
" nature of our history. Vigorous from its very 
" origin, it is of no fordgn growth; it is no dvil 
" war; it is not stained by brethren's blood: we 
•* have overturned no social institutions to be re- 
" placed by others, as blind chance might direct. 
^^ Our resolution is a war for independence, the most 
" just of wars. It is daring and gentle, as the na- 
** tional character; with one arm overthrowing the 
" enemy ; with the other raising and ennobling the 
" native cultivator of the soil. 

" We admire En^aud and France ; we would be 
" a civilized nation like tbem, but without ceasing 
" to \xe Poles. Nations cannot, and ought not to, 
*^ change by violence the elements of their existence. 
" Each has its climate, its industry, religion, morals^, 
" character, degree of cultivation, and history. From 



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ADDRESS TO THE LITHUANIANS* 315 

" these various elements arise the passions, the revo- 

^^ lutions, the specific conditions of their future des* 

" tiny. Strongly marked individuality constitutes 

" a nation's strength; we have preserved ours 

" in the midst of slavery. Love of our country, 

" always ready to make every sacrifice, courage, 

^^ piety, magnanimity, gentleness, were the virtues 

" of our forefathers ; they are ours also. The insur- 

^' gent inhabitants of Watsaw were triumphant on the 

** 29th of November, without a leader and without 

** restraint. With what crime can they be charged ? 

" The capital, the 30,000 men of our army, the 

" whole kingdom, rose as by enchantment. How 

" did they conduct themselves towards the Grand 

" Duke Constantine? That prince, who, during 

*^ his merciless rule of fifteen years, had shown no 

^^ regard for our feelings and our liberties, was now 

^' in our power. But he knew the nation, and just 

*^ to us for once, and once only, he trusted his own 

^' person and his troops to our honour. No Sicilian 

" vesper-bell resounded to the cry of national ven- 

'^ geance> and we respected him and his soldiers 

" without availing ourselves of our advantages. 

'^ Our battalions, whilst awaiting, unmoved, the 

*^ united forces of Russia, opened their ranks to 

'< grant a passage to the fallen enemy, whose safety 

" was guaranteed by Polish faith. Numerous in- 

" stances attest the generosity of the nation. 

*^ Europe admired our moderation no less than 

" our valour. Brethren and fellow-citizens! equal 



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316 ADDRESS TO THE LITHUANIANS. 

" admiration awaits you. Come forward, then, 
" simultaneously, and act in your united strength. 
" In peace as in war, the people are the source of 
" power ; to the people, therefore, direct your views 
" and your affections. Sons, worthy of your fore- 
** fathers, you, like them, will break your hated 
*' bonds, and cement a holy alliance by benefits 
" conferred on the one side, and by gratitude on the 
** other. In other countries it is by force that 
" the people win back their liberties ; with us they 
" receive them as a gift from their brethren. A 
^* generous, just, and necessary measure will be the 
" act of your own free will. You will yourselves 
** proclaim deliverance to the people, and it is thus 
" that you will celebrate the return of the Polish 
" eagles to their native soil. Your fields will not 
" be less fertile nor less peaceful for being cul- 
" tivated by the hands of the free. You will have 
" ennobled yourselves in the eyes of civilised 
" Europe, and the country will have gained mil- 
" lions of citizens, who, like our brave peasants, 
** will fly to the defence of liberty, to throw 
" off dominion characterised by servitude.'* The 
address, after enlarging on the respect paid by 
the Poles in former times, to religious rites 
and feelings, and calling upon the people to follow 
that example, proceeds to describe the im- 
mense power of Russia, and the difficulties to 
be encountered in a conflict with her j and con- 
cludes thus : — 



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ADDRESS TO THE LITHUANIANS. 317 

" All the nations of Europe, all who are sensible 
" to the voice of humanity, who are moved at wit- 
" nessing unmerited suffering, tremble for our fate ; 
" they thrill at every report of our success ; perhaps 
" they only wait for our general rising, to receive 
" us as members of their family, to hail us inde- 
" pendent. Lithuanian brethren! Now is the 
** moment. Unite all your resources, all your 
'* forces ; and when together we shall have finished 
^^ this terrible and unequal struggle, we will invite 
** the potentates of Europe to form a tribunal. We 
" will appear before them covered with our blood ; 
" we will open in their presence the book of our 
^^ annals, unroll the chart of Europe, and say,— 
" * Behold our cause and yours ! The injustice 
" * committed against Poland is known to you ; you 
" * see our despair. For our courage and our 
** * magnanimity, consult our enemies!' Brethren! 
'* Let us hope in God ! He will send his spirit into 
'* the hearts of our judges, and, guided by his 
" eternal justice, they will pronounce, * Long live 
" ' Poland, free and independent! ' " 

In the meantime, Diebitch, dispirited by continual 
reverses, had dispatched a letter to St. Petersburgh, 
which was intercepted by the Poles, and the import 
of which was as follows : — " J'ai perdu la confiance 
" de rarm6e,j'ai perdu la mienne; je prie votre 
" Majeste de me sauver, c'est-a-dire, de donner le 
" commandement de I'armee a un autre." He was 
roused from his painful meditations by the intelli- 



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318 BATTLE OF STRZALKOW. 

gence of the peril to which the so highly-prized 
goards had been exposed during the five days of his 
inaction. Sacrificing all other considerations to the 
desire of saving them, he immediately left Siedlee, 
and marched day and night to their rescue. In one 
day he advanced forty miles. On the 22nd, when the 
guards were already out of danger, he passed the 
Bug at Granna, above Nur, where General Lubienski 
had taken 150 of them prisoners, and had remained 
since the 1 7th. Pursuant to his instructions, Lubien- 
ski then withdrew to Czyzew, where he joined 
the main army on its retreat from Tykocin ; but 
having neglected to give notice of this to his van- 
guard, one brigade of infantry and a cavalry regi- 
ment, with ten guns, were intercepted at Strzalkow 
by six regiments of Russian cavalry and eighteen 
guns. The night was far advanced, when they were 
summoned by the Russians to lay down thdr arms, 
as all resistance would be useless. Replying, that 
the way was ever open to Polish bayonets^ they forced 
a passage through their enemies, of whom ^^y 
destroyed a considerable number, losing thenftsdves 
only fifty men. 

On the 24th, all the Polish forces, except 
Gielgud's corps (which, had not retired b^ond 
Lomza), concentrated at Nadbory. Diebitch halted 
daring the 23rd and 24th at Vjrsokie-Mazovieckie, 
for the guards to join him. Had the latter been 
previously destroyed,. Skrzynecki might at once 
have attacked him; but under the actual circum- 



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BATTLE OF OSTROLENKA. 319 

Stances, it would have been dangerous to oppose 
their junction. During the 25thj the Poles ad- 
vanced toward Ostrolenka, and in the night, all their 
corps except Lubienski's, crossed to the right bank 
of the Narew. Gielgud still continued at Lomsia. 
Ostrolenka, on the left bank of the Narew, presents 
advantages for defence, which may have sug^ 
gested to Skrzynecki the idea of leaving a detach- 
ment on that side of the river, although the fact 
that only a single bridge existed to afford the means 
of retreat ought to have decided him against it. 
Another motive, however, prevailed. After his late 
unprofitable march of 250 miles, he was anxious to 
do something that might gratify public expectation, 
and felt encoumged by the successful actions at 
Minsk and Yendrzeyow, to venture another partial 
engagement. Lubienski's corps, therefore, was 
exposed alone to the ensuing day's struggle, 
whilst the rest of the troops passed the bridge 
to take some repose; and so sanguine waa he 
as to the result of this arrangement, tha the allowed 
the gveater part of the artillery ammunition to be 
sent hack towards Pultusk. 

On the other hand, Diebiteh haviiptg assembled 
70,000 troops and a ibm^able artittery, pushed 
lapidly forward, and early on the 26th of May, 
perceiving a part of the Polish army which he had 
loat all hope of overtaking, stationed within two 
miles in advance of Ostrolenka^i imB9iediately 
prepared to attack them, advancing numerous 



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320 BATTLE OF OSTROLETNKA. 

columns of infantry and eavalry on their front,, 
left and right, in order to cut them off from the 
town. Thus pressed, nothing remained for the 
Poles but a prompt retreat, and this was executed 
better than could have been anticipated. The 4th 
of the line (and no fitter regiment could have been 
chosen) covered the movement, and repulsed with 
its usual gallantry the charges of the lancers of the 
guards. The Russians, however, outflanked the 
Poles, and had taken possession of the bridge before 
the 4th of the line could reach it. Any other regi- 
ment would probably have perished ; but with 
bayonets fixed, they forced their way through the 
burning streets, and with terrible speed rushed to 
the bridge. Then commenced the fiercest conflict 
of the day, the PoUsh soldiers fighting with only 
their bayonets for half an hour, until they had 
passed the river, but could not destroy the bridge 
for -want of the necessary preparations. A fire 
was then opened by two Polish guns on the Russian 
artillery posted behind the bridge, but the gunners 
were soon stretched dead by rifle shot from the 
houses of Ostrolenka. A Russian battalion ad- 
vanced to take the two pieces, but they were imme- 
diately recovered by the Poles. Fresh Russian 
reinforcements were again opposed by the Poles, 
till, without any previous plan, the battle became 
general on the right bank of the river. At that 
moment Skrzynecki appeared. The presence of the 
enemy on the right bank of the river so disturbed 



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BATTLE OF OSTROLENKA* 321 

him, that he determined, at any expense of Polish 
blood, to prevent what seemed to him so pregnant 
with danger. Diebitch, on his part, was equally 
resolved on keeping the position, for which 
purpose he had already sent over twenty-four 
battalions. 

A combat which lasted ten hours then commenced, 
the Poles exhausting their strength in vain to drive 
the Russians back over the river, whilst these were 
not more successful in their endeavours to advance 
beyond the bridge. The field of battle extended 
partly over a space of some hundred square yards, 
and partly on the chaussee along the marshy banks 
of the Narew. The enemy had the advantage in 
position. The elevated chaussee, behind which their 
infantry was placed, served as a strong rampart 
against that of the Poles, and, covered by the exten- 
sive marshes, it was able to defy all the efforts of 
their cavalry. From the hills of Ostrolenka * the 
Russians opened a battery of thirty-two pieces on 
the left of the town, and another of thirty-six on 
the right, which, by a cross fire, effectually protected 
their infantry. In the teeth of such overwhelming 
difficulties, the Poles had to conquer the bridge, or, 
at all events, to maintain possession of the chaussee, 
the only way by which they could retreat, as the 
impassable marshes conmienced within half a mile 
of the bridge. 

Skrzynecki ordered three consecutive infantry 
attacks to be made upon it, all of which were 

r 



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322 BATTLE OF OSTROLENKA. 

successful, and had they but been provided with the 
means of destroying it> the Russian battalions on 
the right must either have laid down their arms, or 
perished in the river. As it was, the Poles were 
obliged to retire ; and each time they retreated, the 
Russian artillery poured, with blind fury, a destruc- 
tive fire both on them and their own troops. 
Diebitch continued sending reinforcements to his 
broken and wavering battalions, thirty-six of which 
had already traversed the bridge. Skrzynecki led 
his men to fresh attacks, but was so severely assailed 
by the artillery, that he could not penetrate beyond 
the bridge, and retired with very great loss. Only 
twenty Polish pieces were allowed to keep a mea- 
sured fire, in order to spare the ammunition, which 
was, notwithstanding, all expended by three o'clock. 
A light horse battery of twelve pieces, under Colonel 
Bern, was reserved for a moment of extreme peril. 
The Russian fire was therefore exclusively directed 
against the Polish infantry, the last division of which 
was now brought into action. All the battalions 
repeatedly made for the bridge, at the point of the 
bayonet, but could never gain a decisive advantage. 
Notwithstanding the unfavourableness of the ground. 
General Kicki was thrice ordered to charge with 
cavalry, but his heroic efforts could not avail against 
the local difficulties. A fourth charge was led by 
Skrzynecki in person, who then became convinced 
that it was not possible to employ the cavalry with 
advantage. About six o'clock, the Polish battalions 



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BATTLE OF OSTROLENKA. 323 

being all broken, Skrzynecki abandoned the hope of 
driving the Russians beyond the bridge, and directed 
his efforts to prevent their passage. From that 
moment, he effectually served his country. Intrepid, 
undaunted as on the plains of Grochow, he moved 
through the field like a standard^ round which all 
rallied. The Russians now passing from the defen- 
sive to the offensive, were in their turn unable to 
advance beyond the bridge. The battle assumed 
a more remarkable character, the Polish artillery 
having for many hours ceased to fire. Towards even- 
ing, fresh columns of the enemy appeared. This 
was their last effort. Colonel Bem, with his horse 
battery, regardless of the enemy's tremendous cannon- 
ade, advanced at full speed, and charged the Russian 
infantry within musket-shot distance, while Skrzy- 
necki made such an effective attack with the in- 
fantry, that they were repulsed to the river, and did 
not renew their assaults. The exertions of the Polish 
soldiers in this last encounter were extraordinary ; 
one of them killed eleven Russians with his scythe, 
for which exploit Skrzynecki invested him on the 
spot with his own cross. 

The field of battle presented a spectacle such as 
has seldom been recorded in the annals of war. 
Twenty thousand bodies of the slain, together with 
slaughtered horses, broken swords, muskets, lances, 
and scythes, so loaded the ground, to the extent of half 
an English square mile, that no space could have 
been found for a single foot-step. Amidst heaps 



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324 BATTLE OF OSTROLENKA. 

of the dead, were several women, with their infants, 
struck down by the Russian cannon, as they were 
flying from the flames of Gstrolenka. Many Rus- 
sian soldiers were seen struggling in their last agony 
to force out the Polish bayonets which had been 
thrust, and left, in their intestines. The philosopher 
may smile or weep, according to his temper, as he 
views this mass of human victims ; but the historian 
will discern amongst them 5000 Poles, who fell in the 
defence of their country's honour and independence, 
and of all that constitutes the worth of man's exist- 
ence. The glorious death of 300 Polish officers 
sheds lustre on that fatal spot. Generals Kamienski 
and Kicki also perished there — the latter, the bravest 
and the handsomest, the very essence of chivalry. 
Always exposing himself wherever danger was 
greatest, he was wont to exclaim, after each escape, 
" How wonderful, oh my God, that I am still alive." 
He was usually called the Polish Alcibiades ; and 
probably his merit might in part be traced to a 
source whence many of the virtues of men derive 
their origin — to the influence of his accomplished 
and romantic lady, who used to beguile his leisure 
hours by reciting to him passages from Homer, or 
singing the historic songs of Niemcewicz. Skrzy- 
necki had two horses killed under him, and several 
musket balls pierced his unifonn. Owing to the 
officers on this occasion generally preceding their 
columns, the battle of Ostrolenka has been called the 
Battle of the Officers. The more than ordinary 



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BATTLE OF OSTROLENKA. 325 

courage, with which the Poles fought on that day, 
has since been a matter of wonder even to them- 
selves ; and indeed men are capable of marvellous 
achievements when animated by the knowledge that 
their former laurels and their future hopes are set 
Upon a single stake. 

The Russians also exhibited more than ordinary 
courage in this battle, owing to their artillery, which, 
being posted in the rear, prevented them from re- 
treating. The river close to the bridge was choked 
with their corpses, and the loss of 15,000 men was 
the cause of their inability to pursue the Poles the 
following day, and of their long subsequent inaction. 
In the stillness of the night, Skrzynecki summoned 
his generals to council, and asked whether the field 
conquered with so great a waste of life should be 
maintained during the next twenty-four hours. This 
resolution should have been adopted, both in order 
to allow Gielgud to come up, and to avoid the 
unfavourable impression at home land abroad, which 
a sudden retreat could not fail to produce. It was, 
however, generally opposed, on the grounds of the 
impossibility that the exhausted troops could be able 
to hold out, and of the peril to which Gielgud would 
be exposed during a flank march to join the main 
body in the presence of the enemy. Timidity Is 
contagious, and Skrzynecki, not to stand single 
against all his generals, ordered an immediate retreat. 
With regard to Gielgud, two squadrons of the Posen 
cavalry were sent to him under Dembinski, with 
orders that he should march into Lithuania. 



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326 BATTLE OF RAYGROD. 

On the 27th the army arrived at Pultusk, without 
having been pursued. Here Skrzynecki entrusted 
the command to General Lubienski, and throwing 
himself into a carriage with Prondzynski the chief 
of his staff, drove to Warsaw, weeping, and repeat- 
ing the words of Kosciuszko, " Finis PolonueJ" 
The troops followed unmolested, and on the 29th 
entered Praga. 

Amongst the errors with which Skrzynecki has 
been charged, one of the gravest was his leaving 
Gielgud at Lomza. This officer commenced his 
march towards Lithuania on the 27th, along the 
chauss^e of Kowno. On the 29th he attacked 
General Sacken, who, with 8000 men and sixteen 
pieces of artillery, occupied a position at Raygrod, 
deemed impregnable, being protected on each side 
by lakes. But the Poles overcame these difficulties. 
The two squadrons of Posen cavalry, especially, 
distinguished themselves by breaking through 
several battalions, and Sacken lost two cannons, 
1800 men killed, and 1200 taken prisoners. No 
further obstacle remained to obstruct Gielgud's march 
into Lithuania, and he had no longer to apprehend 
the double fire from the troops of Sacken, and 
those sent against him by Diebitch. On the 3rd of 
June he passed the Niemen at Gielgudyszki, and 
entered the Lithuanian territory. 



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CHAPTER X. 

The Insurrection of Lithuania. 

The Duchy of Lithuania, three times as extensive 
as the Polish kingdom established in 1815, contains 
about8,000,000inhabitants,chiefly Roman Catholics. 
The men, whose virtues shed undying glory on the 
last days of Poland's political existence, Kos- 
ciuszko, Reytan, and Korsak, were of this province ; 
so also are the poets Niemcewicz and Mickiewicz ; 
so also, by origin, is the guardian of the country. 
Prince Czartoryski. The Lithuanians have always 
been forward for the restoring of Poland ; and, on 
the present occasion, no one except Chlopicki, who 
knew but little of his country, or the Czar, who 
dreaded such an event, could have doubted their 
co-operation. . 

The Warsaw insurrection was hailed in Lithuania 
as joyfully as in any other part of ancient Poland. 
The majority of the officers of the Lithuanian corps 
sympathised wiUi it, but Chlopicki's fatal nego- 
ciations gave time for precautionary measures, 
and 600 of them were transported into the interior 
of the empire, and their places supplied by men of 
Muscovite origin. Such an alloy would have sufficed 



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328 ENTHUSIASM OF THE LITHUANIANS. 

to demoralize any army, and the Poles felt its evil 
influence, until the corps was finally disabled at 
Dembe Wielkie. Then, however, 4000 of the men 
entered the national service. The whole population 
was forced to renew their allegiance to the Czar, 
wlio by this measure tacitly admitted the illegality 
of the former. As in the other provinces, the 
nobles had to forward to St. Petersburgh loyaJ ad- 
dresses, and aspirations for the success of the empe- 
ror against their rebellious countrymen. But even 
this act of compliance could not tranquillise his 
paternal solicitude, and by a confidential ukase, 
addressed to all persons of distinction who had 
ever borne arms, he required them to emigrate for 
an indefinite period to the government of Oren- 
burgh, on the Asiatic frontier. Next came an order, 
that all weapons of offence should, on pain of death, 
be delivered up to the Russian authorities. It was 
rigorously enforced, and the inhabitants were de- 
prived not only of all their fire arms, but of their 
scythes, forks, long knives, and all iron instruments, 
though evidently agricultural. Even after this, the 
Russian troops carried their mistrust so far, that 
they usually marched with loaded guns and lighted 
matches. They knew the hatred borne them by 
the Lithuanians, whom, not even their formidable 
presence could intimidate into inaction. Three 
thousand persons, mostly servants and young men, 
contrived to escape into the kingdom during the 
month of January, and an ukase was in consequence 



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RUSSIAN OPPRESSION. 329 

issued, wherein masters were declared responsible 
for their servants, fathers for their children, and 
public officers for their clerks. 

It had been the policy of Russia for forty years 
to carry on her aggressive wars at the expense of 
the Polish nation ; and on the present occasion, the 
Czar employed the resources of the Lithuanians as 
a means of destroying the Poles. The peasants were 
compelled to convey both tlieir own and their land- 
lords' provisions to the Russian camp, over a space 
of between two and three hundred miles, from the 
Dvvina to the Niemen and the Bug, during the depth 
of winter, and over bad roads, the chaussees being 
exclusively reserved for the army. Frequently they 
were ill-used, and obliged to return without their 
waggons, or perhaps detained for weeks, waiting to 
deliver their contributions. The houses of the 
nobles were used as hospitals for the invalid soldiers, 
and the army advanced like a scourge of heaven, 
leaving behind it hunger, sickness, and affliction. 
The battle of Grochow having baffled the Empe- 
ror's hope of crushing the insurrection at a blow, 
he next ordered the Lithuanians to furnish an extra 
number of conscripts, and provisions which would 
have sufficed for 300,000 men during a year. This 
crowning act of despotism, purposely designed to 
deprive them of all means of resistance, i-aised their 
indignation to the highest pitch; and, in despair, 
they unfurled the banner of insurrection. On the 
25th of March, the rising commenced in the three 



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SBO GENERAL RISING. 

districts of the Vilno go vernmeirt, comprehended under 
the name of Samogitia^ and bounded by Prussia, 
the Baltic, and the Duchy of Courland. Six 
hundred Russian soldiers, stationed in various gar- 
risons, were disarmed. Two hundred of them, 
however, escaped into Prussia, from whence, soon 
permitted to return, they occupied Polangen, a sea- 
port of the Baltic. They were, however, when 
driven out by the insurgents, who, in their turn, 
retired on the approach of a Russian force from 
Courland. In four days the whole of Samogitia 
was successfully insurrectionized, and placed under 
Polish authorities. The Russian Colonel Bartholo- 
meus, with 1200 men, then sought refuge in Prussia, 
and the Samogitians believing that, in accordance 
with the existing neutrality, he would be disarmed 
and detained till the conclusion of the war, did not 
pursue. Contrary to their expectation, however, 
after eighteen days' detention, he returned furnished 
with food and ammunition to attack them, as 
Prussia, designating them as brigands, professed 
to owe them no neutrality. The insurrection had 
spread through the whole government of Vilno, and 
various small garrisons had surrendered. Hitherto, 
about. 1200 cavalry stationed in Vilkomir, under 
General BezobrazofF, had prevented all attempts of 
the insurgents in that district. Yet the fears of the 
\ Russian general so magnified their number, that he 
evacuated the place, in order to join the garrison at 
Vilno. On reaching the river Viessa, his passage 



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DEATH OF LABANOWSKI. 331 

was barred by Labanowski, a nobleman, at the head 
of eighty rifles. Aware that he was closely pur- 
sued by other parties, the general implored Laba- 
nowski by their former friendship, to allow him to 
pass, promising to refrain from hostilities in the 
country he was about to traverse. Labanowski with 
more kindness than tact, not only agreed, but even 
threw a bridge across the river to facilitate his pas- 
sage. The Russian requited the service by forcibly 
carrying him to Vilno, where he was subsequently 
beheaded. This dishonourable conduct, shewed the 
insurgents the degree of trust due thenceforth to 
their enemy. They swore to fight to the last, and 
having overtaken Bezobrazoff before Vilno, captured 
100 of his men, with all his baggage and stores. 

In one week the whole government, excepting 
the towns of Vilno and Kowno, was cleared of the 
Russians. The clergy, who had been elsewhere 
hostile to the cause, were here to be seen marching 
at the head of the parties, with the cross in one 
hand and the sword in the other. The women also 
took an active part, reproaching the luke-warm, 
animating their husbands and brothers to the 
combat, and devoting themselves to the care *of 
the wounded ; even after all hope was lost, they still 
concealed their wounded countrymen in the wood, 
and exposing themselves to privation and danger in 
their service, aided their escape into foreign coun- 
tries. The name of one who has acquired European 
fame must not be left unrecorded here. 



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332 EMILIA PLATER. 

In a district of the Vilno government, which lay 
between that of Vitepsk and the Duchy of Cour- 
land, and was commanded by the fortress of Duna- 
burgh, the banner of insurrection had not yet been 
unfurled. Men shrunk from the perilous task, but 
it was undertaken and achieved by a young and 
heroic woman. The Countess Emilia Plater was 
only twenty-two years of age. In her ardent ima- 
gination, to which the study of the Polish poets had 
given a colouring of deep sadness, the love of coun- 
try had become passion. Secretly quitting the resi- 
dence of her aunt, accompanied by six other young 
ladies, all disguised in male attire, she appeared at 
mid-day in the village of Dusiaty, and displayed the 
national flag. The sight roused the inhabitants. 
Enthusiasm kindled some, shame compelled others 
to rise ; and, in the district where but a day before 
no one had dared to name the insurrection, all now 
were in arms. Such an exploit, in the very presence 
of a numerous Russian garrison, was a striking 
instance of moral courage. Possessed of every de- 
sirable accomplishment, the Countess Plater was 
weary of existence, because her country was in 
slavery. The report of her having commanded a 
regiment, and charged at the head of the cavalry, 
is false. Although she animated the combatants 
by her presence, her sword was never stained with 
blood, and she would have shuddered at the very 
idea. Under a warrior's garb, she retained a 
woman's heart, and her existence was so bound up 



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FOREST OP BIALOWIES. 383 

in that of her country, that she could not survive its 
fall. 

The insurrection was less general in the govern- 
ment of Grodno, owing partly to the absence of 
many leaders, who had long before escaped into the 
kingdom, and partly to the large reserves of Russian 
troops stationed there. It was confined to the forest 
of Bialowies*, which served as a stronghold to the 
adjacent country ; and as the chaussee by which it 
is traversed was one of the two principal lines of 
communication between Diebitch and the empire, 
his convoys of ammunition and their escorts were 
perpetually intercepted by the Poles emerging from 
its inaccessible retreats. In the government of 
Minsk, Vileyka and Dzisna were the only districts 
which rose, the others being restrained by the Rus- 
sians. Eighteen ensigns, emulating those of Warsaw, 
escaped at imminent risk from the fortress of Duna- 
burgh, put themselves at the head of peasants, ex- 
pelled the Russians from Dzisna, and then, unable to 
stand against the superior force of the enemy, fought 
their way into the government of Vilno. There the 

* The Bialowies, forty miles in length and twenty-six in 
breadth, may be called a primitive forest. In this extensive tract 
there are but three villages, and some portions of it are said to be 
as yet unexplored. It is the only spot in Europe where the bison 
(Zubr) is found, of which it is estimated there are here about 
eight hundred. In 1802, the Emperor Alexander issued an 
ukase, prohibiting any of these animals to be destroyed on pain of 
death. 



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334 RESULTS OF LITHUANIAN WAR. 

insurgents, emboldened by success, collected about 
6000 horsemen, and, led by Count Zaluski, were on 
their march to fall upon Vilno, when they received 
a check which convinced them of the unfitness of 
their irregular and ill-armed troops to engage in 
pitched battles. They therefore again divided, in 
order to carry on a partisan war. Those who 
endeavour to trace the fall of Poland to local disad- 
vantages, and deficiency of natural defence, show but 
little discernment in their mode of justifying crime. 
It was owing to the innumerable small rivers which 
intersect that province, and the impenetiable woods 
which cover half its surface, that the handful of 
insurgents were enabled to resist, during several 
months, and almost without arms, 30,000 regular 
troops. The loss of a great battle could not have 
more effectually perplexed Diebitch than did the 
Lithuanian war, as, by the occupation of the two 
great roads of St. Petersburgh and Moscow, his 
operations in the kingdom were suspended and his 
supplies cut off; and this he admitted in one of his 
bulletins, assigning it as a justification of his inac- 
tivity, and of his withdrawal towards the Bug. 

The accounts of the insurrection, all tending to 
show the precarious state of the Imperial power' in 
Poland, greatly exasperated Nicholas, who, on the 
3rd of April, issued the following ukase, unequalled 
for severity even in Muscovite annals : — 

" 1st. Every nobleman taking part in the revolt, 
" shall be tried by a court martial, and executed on 



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BARBAROUS UKASE OF NICHOLAS. 335 

" the spot ; his estates and personal property con- 
" fiscated, and his children sent as recruits to the 
" military colonies. — 2nd. Individuals of lower rank 
" taken under arms, shall be sent to Siberia, and 
" incorporated with the battalions stationed there, 
" and their children sent as recruits to the military 
" colonies." The ukase, however, came too late to 
prevent the insurrection, and did but increase the 
hatred borne to its inhuman author. 

About the same time, the National Government 
ordered the insurgents to make themselves mastery 
of Polangen at any price, as an English vessel was 
expected at that port with a supply of arms. The 
Samogitians alone made two assaults; both were 
unsuccessful, and the vessel moreover never made / 
her appearance. The merchant, an Englishman of i 
the name of Evans, had accepted a commission for ; 
arms, and then sailed for Smyrna, with the very 
cargo for which he had already received payment. 

The students of Vilno, unable to remain inactive 
within its walls while the flag of freedom waved 
without, determined to join their countrymen. On 
a day appointed, 550 of them, accompanied by some 
of the Professors, left the town j and, though pur- 
sued by the garrison, they repulsed three attacks, and 
joined the insurgents, in the district of Troki, and 
subsequently served in the ranks of the national army. 

But the fate of Lithuania was soon to be decided. 
Ten thousand men, detached by Diebitch, and fresh 



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836 BUTCHERY OF OSZMIANA. 

troops from the interior, under General Pahlen, the 
Governor of Courland, and others, traversed the 
country in every direction, exceeding, in their bar- 
barities, even the dictates of the ukase, for proof of 
which let one instance suffice. The Russian Colonel 
Verzulin, after a successful contest with the insur- 
gents, entered the town of Oszmiana on the 13th of 
May, the day of a religious festival and the hour of 
divine worship. The men capable of bearing arms 
fled, and the aged, the women, and the children, 
sought refuge in the church. Neither the sanctity 
of the place nor the helplessness of the victims dis- 
armed the fury of the barbarians, and 300 innocent 
beings, together with the priests, were massacred at 
the foot of the altar by the Cossacks of Caucasus. 
Children's ear-rings, still hanging in the ears which 
had been cut off; and women's rings upon the 
severed fingers, were afterwards openly exposed in 
the market-place of Vilno. 

Pressed on every side, the Lithuanians still de- 
sisted not, night or day, from their attacks on tlie 
enemy. The destruction, however, of the Samogi- 
tian foundry at Vomie, and far worse of their pow- 
der mill, effectually crippled their efforts, as, after 
that loss, even a successful skirmish did but accele- 
rate their ruin by diminishing the stock of ammuni- 
tion which they vainly endeavoured to supply, at any 
expense, of gold or life. Still, though abandoned, 
as it at last seemed, even by Heaven, wandering and 



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ARRIVAL OF CHLAPOWSKT. 337 

proscribed, with no prospect but death or Siberia, 
the love of their prostrate country supported them — 
their hopes still rested on the appearance of the 
Poles — who, so long expected, at length arrived five 
months later than the time appointed. 

It has already been mentioned, that Chlapowski 
entered Lithuania on the 21st of May, with 800 
men and two pieces of cannon. His progress was 
marked by successes. At Bronsk he burnt a large 
train of the enemy's provisions ; and at Bialystock, 
on the 22nd, captured 1000 of their infantry. Push- 
ing forward to attack General Linden, who, with 600 
foot, 200 horse, and two guns, was besieging the forest 
of Bialowies, he took 600 prisoners, both the guns, 
and 400 muskets. By forced marches, day and night, 
he next surprised the garrison of Lida, 400 strong, 
with four guns, one officer only saving himself by 
flight. At Uzgowice, he dispersed 1000 Cossacks, 
and thence had projected an assault on Vilno ; but 
on hearing of the intended rising in Minsk, was 
already on his march thither, when he was surprised 
by the unwelcome arrival of Gielgud. General 
Chlapowski has rendered full justice to the enthu* 
siasm with which his troops were received by the 
Lithuanians. " Not one false brother," so he wrote, 
" was found amongst them. All classes favoured 
*^ our march, collected intelligence, and always 
" brought us true reports. That march, of 400 miles 
" amidst the hostile garrisons, proved to me that I 
*^ was still in the land of my fathers." As the news 

z 



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338 ADDRESS OF THE INSURGENTS. 

spread of his approach^ the insurgents left the 
forests to hail their deliverer. At Kitoviszki, the 
aged Prince Oginski, accompanied by 2000 insur- 
gents, presented him an address, the following 
extract from which conveys but a faiat idea of the 
feeling which greeted him :•— " To obey your orders, 
** we will sacrifice life and property, and in return 
" we ask neither glory nor rank — we desire only to 
" do the duty of all Poles. If, General, you 
" should speak of our devotion to the National 
" Government, and to the General-in-Chief, assure 
^* them that our strength, our means, our faculties, 
" whatever we may call our own, will be consecrated 
** to the general good, to the preservation of the 
" Polish name." 

Chlapowski possessed the unbounded admiration 
of his soldiery, and the same sentiment was soon 
imbibed by the natives, who regarded him as a supe- 
rior man. Yet he, whose recent progress had given 
proof of such great zeal and talent stood paralyzed 
by the approach of Gielgud, whose incapacity he 
knew, but whose orders, as the senior officer, he was 
bound to obey. From that moment he was jealous 
and disheartened. The National Government, aware 
of the evil, hastened to remove it by giving him the 
supreme command, but the commission never reached 
him. On the other hand, the Lithuanians beholding 
Gielgud at the head of 10,000 men, and a train of 
24 guns, and not in the least suspecting his arrival 
to be the result of Skrzynecki's mistakes, received 



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ARRIVAL OF GIELGUD. 339 

him as their destined deliverer, and converted his 
march into one continued triumph. At every village 
the v^rhole population came out to salute the troops* 
The priests, in their official vestments, blessed their 
arms—women strewed flowers in their path, and 
every household received them as long lost and 
lamented sons and brothers* Such cordiality brought 
tears even to the bronzed cheeks of the veterans, and 
Gielgud's vanity was so flattered, that he entirely lost 
his head. His first blunder was to summon the insur- 
gents from their forestambuscades, and form them into 
regiments, thus converting excellent sharpshooters 
into bad regulars, and at the same time enabling the 
enemy to unite against himself. Again, though his 
only chance of success lay in rapidity and sudden 
movements, he wasted much time, after his arrival 
on the 3rd of June, in total inaction. At length, 
having detached two battalions of his newly-formed 
infantry under Colonel Szymanowski against Polan- 
gen, where the landmg of arms was still expected, 
he resolved, with the remainder of his force, to 
make an attempt up<m Vilno. The capital of Lithu^ 
ania might easily have been taken when the Poles 
first entered the province ; but the garrison, at that 
time not exceeding 5000, was now increased t^ 
30,000. Beyond the moral effect of the triumph, 
and the temporary disturbance of the Russian com- 
munications, of which it formed the centre, few 
advantages would have attended the conquest, nor 
had its difficulties been sufficiently considered by 



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340 BATTLE OF VILNO. 

Gielgud. Brave himself, he thought his men could 
execute, by mere bravery, a now impracticable plan. 
The town is least accessible on the side of Ponary, 
so celebrated in Napoleon's campaign of 1812; 
and Gielgud ordered Chlapowski to make a 
demonstration on that side^ whilst Dembinski was 
to feign an attack from the North, and both were to 
await the main body under his own command. 
On the 18th, Dembinski obeyed the order, but not 
finding himself supported, effected a retreat under 
the fire of the enemy with his usual presence of 
mind. His co-operation for the following day, for 
which Gielgud had, without any sufficient reason, 
delayed the general assault, was, however, lost. His 
troops advanced with ardour, anxious to display 
their courage to the Lithuanians, who, on their part, 
were full of emulation. Under an able leader, im- 
possibilities almost might have been achieved ; but 
Gielgud not only opened the assault on the most 
difficult point, but conducted it with so little com- 
bination, that the efforts of his men were entirely 
vain. After a sanguinary conflict of eight hours, 
their perilous retreat was covered by the 1st lancers, 
who, by three vigorous charges, deterred the Russian 
cavalry from pursuit. Eight hundred Poles were 
killed, but the general discouragement of the insur- 
gents, on witnessing the defeat of the regular troops, 
was a still greater evil. 

So dissatisfied were Gielgud's officers, that 300 of 
them waited on Chlapowski, and offered him the 



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BATTLE OF KOWNO. 341 

chief command. Without disputing the general's 
incapacity, Chlapowski expressed his disapprobation 
of their proceeding, and threatened them with a 
court-martial, on the ground that even failure would 
be preferable to insubordination ; and that should the 
insurrection fall, it ought still to leave an example of 
unity and concord. This disciplinarian logic, as- 
suming that the welfare of the cause must give way 
to the rules of the service, was partly prompted by 
Chlapowski's despair of restoring affairs from the 
ruin to which Gielgud was rapidly reducing them. 
It was not long, however, before his efforts were 
again required. The chief of his staff being found 
drowned in the river, Gielgud, in deference to the 
general voice, devolved the post on Chlapowski, 
and from that time the chief command was also 
virtually his. 

The enemy now re-assumed the offensive, and 
advanced in three colimins, 30,000 strong. The 
first column attacked a single regiment at Kowno, 
which was soon dispersed, the Countess Plater, who 
was present, owing her preservation to Colonel Kie- 
kiernicki, who gave her his own horse, and was in 
consequence himself taken by the Cossacks. The 
possession of Kowno was of great importance to 
the Russians, as it enabled them to prevent the 
Poles from retiring beyond the Niemen. A second 
column advanced upon the main body under Giel- 
gud, who retired without making an effort at resist- 
ance, but passed on to Szawle, where the other 



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342 BATTLE OF SZAWLE. 

troops were ordered to join him. DembiBsk) alone 
continued to uphold the character of the Polish 
army. On the 29th of June, he repulsed the third 
column at Wilkomir, and successfully maintained 
his position till the 1st of July, when, in obedi- 
ence to Gidgud, he commenced his retreat, still 
forcing the enemy to pay dear for every inch of 
yielded ground, and again repulsing them at Ponie- 
wir. On the 7th, all the forces, amounting to 14,000 
men and twenty-four cannon, united before Szawle. 
This town, defended by field fortifications, and 4000 
Russians, and containing military stores, had been 
twice unsuccessfully assaulted by the insurgents? 
luod once actually held for a short time by them. 
It was now attacked by Gielgud on the 8th of July, 
but, as usual, to no purpose, notwithstanding his 
great superiority of force. This being his last ex- 
ploit in Lithuania, the system of government which 
he there introduced, should now be adverted to. 

Previous to his arrival, no central power existed, 
but as each district was freed from the Russian autho- 
rities, a local government was established, as tranB- 
ferable as the insurgent bands, and all maintaining 
the strictest unity of purpose. One horseman was 
levied upon every twenty houses, and one foot 
soldier on every five, and the government of Vilno 
alone, thus raised 24,000 foot and 6000 horse. The 
levies were differently conducted however, in the 
districts, which rose en masse, such as Samogitia, 
which asserted its independence during the war. 



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INSURRECTIONARY GOVERNMENT. 343 

Gielgud had been enjoined by the National Govern- 
ment to abstain from all legislative interference^ and 
to act only as an auxiliary, avoiding a pitched battle 
until the arrival of a reinforcement. A central 
power was to be formed of members chosen by the 
Lithuanians^ the first act of which, would have 
been to ratify the emancipation of the peasantry. 
Religious toleration was to be strictly observed, and 
places in the Polish senate promised to the Greek 
bishops. In order to ensure the co-operation of 
the Jews, the refusal of the army contracts was to 
be given to them. Taxes were to be levied only upon 
the nobles and the towns, the necessary contribun 
tions having been all along furnished by the insur- 
gent leaders. The general was instructed to spare 
no pains in propagating the insurrection through the 
other governments, by suitable manifestoes, and by 
the establiahment of a periodical journal calculated to 
convey the requisite intelligence to the Lithuanians 
isolated in their forest residences. Had these injunc • 
tions, dictated by Prince Czartoryski been observed, 
the isssue would have been very different. But 
Gielgud, once arrived in Lithuania, spumed all 
counsel or control, and, like all inferior minds, 
thought only of asserting his own supremacy. 
Without consulting the Lithuanians, he established 
a central board of five members, all, either unac- 
quainted with insurrectionary affairs, or without 
mental capacity, to the exclusion of those individuals 
who were universally trusted and esteemed. This 



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344 DEATH OF GlELGUD. 

futile power, counteracting the effect of the previous 
judicious measures, did but accelerate the coming 
downfall. 

From Szawle, Gielgud proceeded to Kur- 
S2any, where the discontent of the officers finally 
rose to such a height, that they deprived him 
of even his nominal command, and sepamted 
the troops into three corps, under the respective 
guidance of Chlapowski (accompanied by Gielgud), 
Dembinski, and Roland. The next day, Chlapow- 
ski proceeded towards Memel, Roland's corps form- 
ing the rear guard. On the 11th, the Russians 
overtook him at Povedynie, and a sharp action 
ensued, during which Chlapowski, although but 
little in advance, instead of rendering any assistance, 
continued his march, and having passed the Prussian 
frontier, laid down his arms on the 12th, at the 
village of Schlungsten. Roland followed in the 
same direction, but refusing to enter Prussia, ap- 
proached Jansbork, intending to cross the Niemen 
there. The sight of his soldiers, resolved to fight 
their way into Poland, recalled those of Chlapowski 
to their duty, and resuming their arms, they joined 
their countrymen. Nothing could now exceed the 
exasperation of the commanders. Suspicions of 
treachery were murmured by some, and at length 
a lieutenant, attached to Roland's corps, suddenly 
quitting his regiment, galloped up to Gielgud, and 
shot him in the midst of a group of officers. He di^d 
asserting his innocence. Having reached Jansbork,* 



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HOSTILITY OF PRUSSIA. 346 

and finding himself completely hemmed in, and his 
progress homewards cut off, Roland also entered 
Prussia on the 15th. This lamentable conclusion 
was owing to a mistake in their line of march; 
and Dembinski, by marching in a contrary direc- 
tion, has acquired undying fame. His celebrated 
retreat will be mentioned hereafter. Upwards of 
6000 Poles laid down their arms in Prussia, not 
being permitted, like the Russians, to re-cross the 
frontier. On the contrary, Prussia provided their 
enemies with the means of destroying them, and 
then undertook the task of giving them burial. 
Finding themselves handed over to their foes, few, 
or none of the Lithuanians, sought refuge there. 
They escaped to their forests, where they partially 
protracted the war till the close of November, from 
whence, if human calculations be not wholly vain, 
they will emerge in pristine energy and with better 
fortune. 



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CHAPTER XI. 

The retreat of the Polish army from Ostrolenka 
to Piaga, was equivalent to a defeat. Previous to 
the expedition against the guards, the emperor 
Francis had conceived so favourable an opinion of 
the national prospects^ that he had proffered his 
support, and even proposed to restore Galicia, on 
condition that the Polish crown should be bestowed 
on the Archduke Charles. But the unfortunate 
affair of Ostrolenka changed the views of Austria, 
who, considering the cause as now hopeless, at 
once broke off the negociation* It is worthy of 
remark, that Austria had twice before, in 1809 and 
1816, offered to restore her share of the spoils of 
Poland. A time may come when she may find it ad- 
visable, for her own sake, to carry the proposal into 
effect. All hope too from the Ottoman Porte, once 
the implacable enemy, but of late the sincere ally of 
Poland, faded at the same time. Fully apprecia- 
ting the opportunity of escape from the insolent 
protection of the Russian, the Sultan, on receiving 
assurances of the co-operation of the French, through 
their ambassador General Guilleminot, had prepared 
for hostilities, although his army of the line had 
been reduced to 10,000 during the late unfortunate 



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ADDRESS OF CONFIDENCE. 847 

war. The ambassador had, however, exceeded his 
instructions, and was recalled in consequence by 
his government. 

On reaching Praga on the 28th of May, Skrzy- 
necki declined entering the capital till he had 
seen some of the members of the Diet, the 
majority of whom were favorably disposed towards 
him. On their appearance, he assured them that 
the army was still unbroken, although it had 
suffered severe loss in a murderous action of 
twelve hours, exposed to a tremendous fire of 
artillery, — adding, what his pierced uniform fully 
confirmed, that he himself had been obliged to per* 
form the duty of a private, but that he would yet 
lead his men to fresh victories. This frank avowal 
was received with cheers by the Diet, and amidst 
a burst of approbation, the deputy Ledochowski 
moved that, imitating the Roman Senate, they should 
declare the general to have deserved well of his 
country, notwithstanding he had fought an unsuc- 
cessful battle ; that so, added the deputy, he might 
be restored to his own confidence and to that of the 
army. On the presentation of this address of con- 
fidence, Skrzynecki seized the opportunity to attri- 
bute his past failures to the government, com{Jaining 
of the delay occasioned in his march by tiie non-arri- 
val of provisions, and tracing this neglect and other 
marks of inefiiciency, to the too great number of 
members which composed it ; adding, that nothing 
better could be hoped until the authority should be 



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348 REFORM OF THE GOVERNMENT. 

vested in the hands of a single individual. He was 
certainly right in asserting that a government which 
did not possess the privilege of appointing or dis- 
missing the generalissimo, ought to be changed for 
one of greater power. His words were not without 
effect upon the deputies, and on the 3rd of June, 
Ledochowski moved for a reform in the government? 
assuming Skrzynecki's demand for it, as an argument 
for its propriety, and forgetting that the public, 
disappointed in Chlopicki, was no longer disposed 
for military absolutism. Against this disinclination? 
all arguments for undivided authority proved vain . 
and the question, which ought rather to have been, 
whether the existing government should be entrusted 
with a minus or plus of power, was, after six days' 
animated debate, rejected by a majority of only two. 
As it thus became evident that the government did 
not possess the confidence of the nation. Prince 
Czartoryski offered to resign, but Barzykowski 
alone, of all his colleagues, being disposed to follow 
his disinterested example, no change was made. 
On the other side. General Krukowiecki, a man of 
haughty temper, could not forget that Skrzynecki had 
been raised above him, after the battle of Grochow ; 
and his envy, at first quelled by the success of his 
rival, now burst forth, and he did not scruple to say, 
that if the Russians had not been such " grandes 
bites,'' not a Polish soldier would have escaped from 
Ostrolenka. He even addressed an insulting letter 
to Skrzynecki, who, in consequence, required his 



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PLAN OF CHRZANOWSKI. 349 

dismissal from the command of Warsaw, a request 
of which Krukowiecki anticipated the result by- 
resigning. He remained^ however, in the capital, 
prosecuting his machinations in concert with the 
members of the patriotic club, which still existed 
under the presidency of Lelewel. Prondzynski 
also declared against the general-in-chief, and sub-^ 
mitted a memoir to the government (which, how- 
ever, he refused to make public), commenting on his 
errors. A fresh victory, however, was all that 
Skrzynecki now stood in need of to silence his 
antagonists, and for this, a most favourable opportu- 
nity soon offered. 

Before he could decide on risking the main force on 
a new expedition, he ordered Chrzanowski to march 
with his 6000 men from Zamosc into Volhynia, a 
measure to which the other objected as useless, offer- 
ing instead, another masterly suggestion, which, had 
it been carried into effect, might have yet ensured com- 
plete success. After Dwernicki had taken refuge in 
Galicia, General Rudiger had entered the Palatinate 
of Lublin with 16,000 men to supply the place of 
Kreutz, then in Lithuania. General Kayzaroff, with 
a corps of 6000, lay at the same time encamped near 
Zamosc, and General Rott, with 12,000, was still in 
Volhynia. For Chrzanowski therefore to enter Vol- 
hynia in the face of those three Russian corps, was 
but to seek a catastrophe like that of Dwernicki. 

The central position of Praga favoured any 
attempt of the Poles upon Rudiger, since, by 



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860 ORLOFF, THE HARBINGER OF DEATH. 

moving along any radius^ they would always out- 
march the Russians, following, as they must, in 
a circular line. Herein lay the virtue of that famous 
triangle, and Chrzanowslci accordingly proposed an 
attack on Rudiger's corps, only stipulating that 
after its destruction, to which he felt very sure 
of contributing, 6000 men might be added to his 
detachment, thus rendering it strong enough to crush 
in succession, the various Russian corps already 
alluded to, and enabling him to prosecute his victori- 
ous career to Kiow. Skrzynecki at once approved the 
plan, promising to give him 8000 additional men, 
and the National Government appointed him supreme 
governor of Podolia, Volhynia, and Ukraina. 

The precarious condition of the Russian army 
enhanced the chance of success. When Diebitch 
left the devastated environs of Ostrolenka to advance 
upon Pultusk, he had dispersed his troops along 
the Narew with a view to their obtaining food, the 
supply of which, as well as of military stores, had 
been totally cut off by the insurgents of Lithuania, 
and had himself taken up his head quarters at 
Klecaew near Pultusk, where, on the 10th of June, 
Count OrlofF unexpectedly joined him, on a mission 
from St. Petersburgh. This Russian noble, known 
in his own country as **the harbinger of death," 
inherits the sobriquet from his grandfather and 
father; the first being the celebrated favourite of 
the Empress Catherine, raised from the ranks in 
reward of his two-fold murder of her husband Pet«r, 



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DEATH OF DIEBITCH. 351 

by poison and strangling — ^the second having taken 
an effective part in destroying the Emperor Paul, 
father of Nicholas. The present Count OrlofF is 
supposed to possess the talent of his race. The day 
after his arrival, Diebitch died suddenly, as first 
stated, of cholera, and as afterwards of apoplexy. 
The Russians again, said he had poisoned himself, 
and a Pultusk apothecary was arrested, on suspicion 
of having furnished him with the means. Finally a 
certificate signed by four Russian physicians, once 
more attributed his death to cholera. History may be 
allowed to doubt such evidence, and to record facts 
in the order of their occurrence. Shortly before 
this event. Field Marshal Count Paszkiewicz arrived 
in St. Petersburgh from Caucasus^ — a circumstance 
which was thought to indicate some intention on 
the part of the emperor to supersede Diebitch ; which 
intention was perhaps confirmed by his own letter, 
requesting leave to resign. But as an abrupt dis- 
missal would have been considered tantamount to 
an acknowledgment of defeat, and was not therefore 
to be thought of in the Russian cabinet, it was 
natural to recur to the policy which had already 
been found convenient towards many members even 
of tlie Romanoff line. The command now given 
to Paszkiewicz was held, ad intenm^ by General 
Toll ; and his provisional appointment binding him, 
by the regulations, to act exclusively on the defen- 
sive, was a circumstance favourable to Chrzanowski^s 
meditated expedition. The army thinned by the 



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352 BATTLE OF LYSOBYKI. 

late struggle, wajs besides obliged to wait both 
for reinforcements and stores. To solicit these, 
Count OrlofF hastened to Berlin, with a letter from 
the empress to the king her father, who, it was not 
doubted, from his general habit of yielding to 
momentary impulse, would be easily moved to 
comply with his son-in-law*s request. 

On the 14th of June, the Poles commenced their 
operations. General Skarzynski, with two divisions, 
was sent towards Serock to observe the enemy on 
the Narew, Skrzynecki at the same time advancing 
a day's march on the chaussee of Siedlce to Siennica, 
where he stationed himself with a part of the forces 
to protect the capital, whilst General Jankowski with 
the rest went in quest of Rudiger. Entering Kock 
on the 18th, Jankowski heard with satisfaction, that 
the Russian general had crossed the Wieprz at 
Lysobyki, and had destroyed the bridge with a 
view to ensure the capture of General Ramorino, 
who had just passed the Vistula at the head of Sie- 
rawski's corps. Thus taken unawares, when he 
believed he had to deal only with Ramorino, Rudiger 
found himself in considerable perplexity. But 
Jankowski, in his over anxiety lest any part of 
the enemy's force should escape, dispersed his men 
over too long a line, sending General Turno, with 
four battalions and seven squadrons, to reconnoitre 
the Russians at Lysobyki. In the morning of the 
19th, he fell in with their vanguard, which was 
quickly joined by Rudiger with his whole force. 



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RETREAT OF THE POLES. 363 

Tumo Stood his ground during several hours, when, 
according to an order sent him, he fell back upon 
the main body. On the following morning, Jan- 
kowski determined to attempt repairing his blunder 
of the day before, and was in the act of commanding 
the attack, when he received a communication from 
"Skrzynecki, who believed he had already beaten 
Rudiger, informing him that the great Russian army 
had crossed the Narew, and enjoining him to give 
over all pursuit, and march towards Warsaw. As 
the order originated in a mistake, Jankowski ought 
to have persevered in his plan ; but perplexed, and 
unable to comprehend the case, he summoned a 
council, and proposed the question, whether to with- 
draw at once, or, first of all, to fight Rudiger. All, 
excepting General Milberg, gave their advice in 
writing for an immediate retreat. Thus, by an acci- 
dental misunderstanding, did the Poles lose the 
chance of an important victory, for not a Russian 
had in fact crossed the river. When General Toll 
assumed the provisional command, he reviewed each 
division in turn j and at Serock, accompanied by a 
numerous escort, examined the works on the banks 
of the Narew, the plan of which had been made 
under Napoleon's direction. Peter Wysocki, sta- 
tioned with a battalion on the opposite side, gave 
notice to General Skarzynski, that they were about 
to pass, and the latter, calculating that the messenger 
could not have required less than two hours to bring 
him the intelligence, sent on at once to Skrzynecki, 

A A 



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354 CHRZANOWSKI'S MARCH FROM ZAMOSC. 

that the enemy passed the Narew, instead of going 
in person to ascertain the fact. Thus misinformed, 
Skrzynecki was so fearful of being cut off from War* 
saw, that, instead of returning from Siennica by the 
chaussee, he chose a much longer march, by crossing 
the Vistula at Potycza. The retreat of Jankowski's 
corps placed that of Chrzanowski in extreme danger. 
Conformably to his plan, he left Zamosc, and reached 
Lublin on the 22nd, where, instead of encountering 
Rudiger, as he had hoped, in his flight, he found 
himself confronted by a victorious body of 16,000 
men, and pursued by KayzaroflT with 6000 more. 
Yet so rapid and masterly were his manoeuvres, that, 
although hampered by the twenty-seven heavy guns 
brought from Zamosc for the defence of Warsaw, 
he contrived to cross to the left bank of the Vistula, 
losing only one man, while the Russian cavalry at 
Lublin lost at least 100. 

The disappointment in the capital, and throughout 
the nation, at this failure, was extreme, and soon a 
universal cry of treachery was raised against Jan- 
kowski. The military council, however, summoned 
by him, saved him from a court martial ; and, to the 
charge of weakness, Skrzynecki had not dared to 
add that of treason, until, on the evening of the 
28th of June, a special communication from a dis- 
tinguished GaJician converted suspicion into cer- 
tainty. It stated, that General Hurtig, ci-devant 
commander of Zamosc, under the Grand Duke Con- 
stantine, had kept up a secret correspondence with 



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IMPRISONMEKT OF JANKOWSKI. 366 

the Russians, and that amongst his papers would be 
found proofs of a conspiracy conducted by Jankowski 
and others for arming the Russian prisoners against 
the capital. On the following day, warrants were 
issued for their apprehension, and as it was Sunday, 
and the monthly celebration of the 29th of Novem- 
ber, a crowd soon gathered in the streets, and, at the 
sight of Genera] Hurtig,'formerly the merciless gaoler 
of the state prisons, their indignation broke forth. 
His uniform was pulled to pieces, and his hair torn 
from his head ; and it wa^ with much difficulty that 
a strong escort of the national guard could at length 
convey him to the Royal Castle, where he wa^ 
joined by Jankowski and four others. Nor did the 
peril cease there. The crowd were vocifemting death 
to the traitors, when Prince Czartoryski appeared, 
and his carriage was stopped by thousands, demand- 
ing justice. To restrain them, he pointed out the 
disgrace that would be cast by any violence upon 
their sacred cause. This appeal was not in vain, 
although some still asked for summary punishment ; 
but the prince again assuring that the prisoners 
would be punished if their guilt were proved, the 
populace was satisfied, and would willingly have 
drawn his carriage in token of gratitude. 

A want of money, the sinew of war, was now be- 
ginning to be felt. One hundred millions of florins 
had been expended, in addition to the liberal contri- 
butions forwarded to the capital from all parts of 
ancient Poland, and especially from Gaiicia. The 



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366 WANT OF MONEY. 

government, however, preferred a furtherappeal to the 
country, rather than to raise money, by drawing on 
the sympathy of Europe, or by mortgaging the 
future existence of the nation to a foreign capitalist. 
By a decree of the 22nd of June, the funds of all 
public institutions, and all the gold and silver 
belonging to the churches, not indispensable to 
divine service, were borrowed, to be returned at the 
close of the war. The government also gave notice 
that they should require horses and provisions for 
the use of the troops, and requested gifts of plate 
and jewels. These demands awakened no discon- 
tent, and the women hastened to offer their orna- 
ments, even their wedding rings, and the people their 
savings, saying, ^^ we shall be poor, but we shall 
" have our fatherland.'' 

When General Paszkiewicz arrived at Pultusk, 
towards the end of June, to replace his deceased 
rival, he found his army in good order, and well 
provided. Count OrloiF had not been disappointed 
by Prussia ; she had thrown off the mask, and was 
now openly assisting the Russians. The National 
Government, alarmed for the consequences of this 
decided co-operation, delivered in remonstrances to 
the European powers, more particularly to France 
and England. " For some time," they said, 
" while there was reason, for supposing that the 
^^ Russians would triumph unassisted, Prussia 
" had looked coolly on, or confined herself to occa- 
" sional acts of vexation towards the Poles; 



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REMONSTRANCES OF THE GOVERNMENT. 357 

** and so long as these injuries were not of vital 
'^ importance, the Poles had remained silent. But 
'^ now that their fate as a nation depended on the 
" course adopted by Prussia, the time for forbear- 
** ance was past. The Russian army, hemmed in 
*' on all sides, could receive neither men nor pro- 
" visions from home. The Polish General-in-Chief, 
^^ in forming his plans, had contemplated this result ; 
*^ and now that victory seemed within his grasp, 
"or rather, that without even striking a blow, the 
" retreat of the Russian army was unavoidable, 
" Prussia had at once removed their difficulties, and 
" become their arsenal, their storehouse, and their 
" fortress. The Russian army, not more than 60,000 
" strong, once on the left of the Vistula below Plock, 
" could no longer communicate with the empire ; 
" and it was evident that no general would have 
" placed himself in such a position, without a pre- 
" vious understanding that he might rely on the 
" assistance of Prussia in case of defeat. The 
" Polish government possessed undeniable proofs 
" that such was the fact, and their statement would 
" the more easily find credit, as they could have no 
" motive for accusing a state with which it was ob- 
" viously their interest to remain in amity." To 
the remonstrances drawn forth from France and 
England, by this appeal, the Cabinet of Berlin merely 
replied, that tlie king had never professed neutrality, 
but had only abstained from taking an active part ; 
that he had always desired the ultimate success of 



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858 THE POSPOLITE. 

Russia, and had a right to contribute to it by what- 
ever means he might think proper. 

The passage of the Vistula, thus rendered prac- 
ticable to the Russians, the Poles, deserted by all, 
after raising no less than four levies in a very short 
period, at length resorted to their last means of 
defence; and, on the 1st of July, the Government 
issued the decree for the Pospolite (levSe en masse) 
opening with this preface : ** In the name of God 
** and our liberty, now on the brink of life or extinc- 
" tion — in the name of the heroes and kings who 
** have died for religion and mankind— for the sake 
" of posterity, of justice, and the emancipation of 
*' Europe, we call on the ministers of Christ, on 
" the citizens, on the cultivators, 'expecting rights 
" only to be conferred by free Poland," &c. The 
appeal was answered, and even from the palatinates 
which were actually in possession of the enemy, 
came bands of volunteers who served their country 
most efficiently. The army of the line was eager 
to engage, and had its chief breathed the same spirit, 
the hopes of the new Field Marshal might have 
vanished like those of his predecessor. 

On the 4th of July, Paszkiewicz commenced & 
flank march from Pultusk towards Plock, with 
86 battalions, 136 squadrons, and 300 pieces of 
cannon. On hearing of this extraordinary move- 
ment, Skrzynecki hastened the next day to Modlin 
with about 30,000 men. Fortune seemed once more 
to invite him to attack a foe rash enough to face thus 



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DIPLOMATIC TREACHERY. 359 

a large Polish force. It was indeed a bold attempt of 
Pas2kiewicz, out of all rule, and more fitted to his 
previous warfare with savage tribes. It was suc- 
cessful, however, for Skrzynecki would not attack 
him, though urged on all sides. On the 8th, the 
Russian columns collected at Plock, as if intending 
to attempt the passage of the Vistula j and, on the 
11th, wholly unmolested by the Poles, they drew off 
and marched towards the Prussian frontier, where a 
bridge was thrown across the river near the village 
of Osieck. The Pahlen corps passed first. During 
the passage, which occupied thirty-six hours, the 
Szachowskoi grenadiers and the guards remained in 
battle array, expecting to be attacked ; and had 
Skrzynecki fallen on them during their separation 
from the Pahlen corps, they could have made but 
little resistance, and Paszkiewicz must have sought 
safety in Prussia. The Russians effected their pas- 
sage unharmed on the 19th of July. 

On this occasion, however, Skrzynecki's con- 
duct had its excuse in a most unparalleled act 
of diplomatic treachery. The selfishness of the 
French government, which, true to the maxim of 
one of its statesmen*, " chacun chez soi et pour 
" soi," sacrificed Poland to its own narrow policy, 
has been mentioned. That same government which, 
by the mouth of Sebastiani, had proclaimed, that 
" la Pologne ^tait destin^e a perir," now stooped 

* Dapin, President of the Chamber of Deputies. 



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360 DIPLOMATIC TREACHERY. 

to solicit the aid of that insulted nation in one of 
its political negociations. When it was appre- 
hended that the Belgian Congress would oppose 
the twenty-four articles drawn up in London, by 
which Leopold of Saxe Coburg was to hold their 
sceptre, Count Zaluski, then residing there as 
envoy for Poland, was induced, by Prince Talley* 
rand, to go to Brussels, and to avail himself of the 
sympathy subsisting between his nation and the 
Belgians, in order to remove their objections, Talley-^ 
rand assuring him also that these affairs once ad** 
justed, the London Conference would immediately 
proceed to those of Poland. Count Zaluski effected 
the object of his mission, the assurance of Talley- 
rand that the Poles should be assisted against Nicho- 
las, whom, for his support of the King of Holland, 
the Belgians regarded as their natural foe, having 
contributed in no small degree to his success. Fresh 
demurs, however, on the part of Holland, occurring 
to retard the arrangement, which a Russian victory 
on the Vistula might still further perplex, it was in- 
timated to the two Polish envoys then in Paris, that 
Sebastiani having an important communication to 
make, invited them to meet him at the house of a 
Polish lady. There his first inquiry was for some 
Pole who might go as a French courier to Berlin, 
offering, at the same time, 2000 francs for the ex- 
penses of the journey. ^At his dictation, the Polish 
envoy then wrote, " that the French ministry re- 
" quested the Polish generalissimo to avoid a battle 



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DIPLOMATIC TREACHERY. 361 

" for the next two months, as within that time 
" Poland should be saved by France." This dis- 
patch, however, proved a premeditated deception; 
and Sebastiani's conduct appeared in a still more 
odious light, when he subsequently, in the Cham- 
ber of Deputies, dared to deny his own docu- 
ment, on the plea that, although he had dictated, he 
had not written it. It would seem that his original 
object was to make a show of energy on the part of 
the French Cabinet, in order to induce the other 
powers to yield the Belgian question, and, at the 
same time, to give Russia occupation on the Vistula 
sufficient to nullify her interference. His easy con- 
science might suggest that he was at liberty to trifle 
with a cause which he had already declared to be 
hopeless, and that tliere was no guilt in a measure, 
which, by delaying the catastrophe for two months, 
gave the Poles a further chance of some favourable 
change. His dispatch, which reached Modlin on the 
6th, produced the effect designed on Skrzynecki. It 
did not enter into that devout and chivalrous heart 
to suspect the governors of a nation in amity with 
his own, of contemplating its ruin ; and his hopes of 
foreign intervention being thus apparently confirmed^ 
he thought himself justified in turning a deaf ear to 
Chrzanowski and Prondzynski, and to Prince Czar- 
toryski, who, better able to judge than Sebastiani 
of the state of affairs, also urged him to attack 
Paszkiewicz. 

Chrzanowski had gone into Podlachia about the 



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362 BATTLE OF KALUSZYK. 

same time time that Skrzynecki entered Modlin, and 
on the 13th of July, had increased his force to 
16,000 men, by uniting at Dembe Wielkie with 
Rybinski's division. The next day he forced Gene- 
ral Golowin with 10,000 men to evacuate, first 
Minsk and then Kaluszyn, with a loss of 2000 
killed and wounded, 1400 prisoners, and several 
pieces of cannon. Anxious to aid in defeating 
Paszkiewicz, he did not pursue, and had already 
commenced his march to Modlin, when he heard, 
with astonishment, that Skrzynecki had returned 
to Warsaw. 

Meantime events of a more favourable aspect 
compensated in some degree for the unmolested 
passage of the Russians. The noble nation of 
the Magyars, actuated by the most generous sym- 
pathy, set an example which might have shamed 
the unfeeling caution of other Europeans. About 
the middle of July, information was received in 
Warsaw that the following petition from twenty-two 
Hungarian counties, had been presented to the 
Emperor of Austria, by the county palatine of Bar, 
on the l&th of June. " The recollection of the 
" enormous power at one time wielded by the 
^* Ottoman dynasty, their long wars against Greece, 
'* and the misfortunes subsequently ensuing to our 
'* own country, has taught us that the great error 
*' of that period lay with ourselves, in abandoning 
" the Greeks unaided to their struggle, and final 
** subjugation. An analogous case now reminds us 



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PETITION OF THE HUNGARIANS. 363 

** that we ought not to look with indifference on 
" the gigantic strides of the northern colossus, 
" whose power so rapidly increases, not by inheri- 
" tance, nor by free popular election, but by force 
" of arms alone. By checking it while there is yet 
" time, by confining it to its just limits, we shall 
" at once provide for our own security, and dis- 
" charge a debt of gratitude to the undaunted Poles^ 
" now fighting for their national existence. By 
** neglecting to assist them, should they fall over- 
" whelmed, though not subdued, we fear to expose 
*' ourselves or our descendants to the like peril, 
** from the same foe, and we may hereafter lament 
" in vain that there is no Sobieski to deliver us. 
" May it therefore please your Majesty graciously 
" to consider the unhappy prospects of the Poles^ 
" should their noble eflTorts not be crowned with the 
" success which the justice of their cause deserves. 
*^ Their claim. Sire, on your august house, and on our 
^^ country, ought never to be forgotten ; they are 
*' now, with unparalleled courage and unequal force, 
*' struggling with their oppressor, and can only 
^* succeed by the greatest sacrifices. Taking into 
** consideration besides, the danger which threatens 
" from the north all neighbouring nations, we most 
" humbly pray your Majesty, before it be too late, 
" to make the fate of unhappy Poland a matter of 
" deliberation with your faithful subjects at the 
** approaching Diet, and in the m^an time graciously 
*^ to remove from us the prohibition to export arms> 



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364 SYMPATHY OF THE GERMANS. 

" ammunition, and scythes, almost the only branch 
" of commerce left us by the severe restrictions of the 
*' Custom House." This petition, which the Hun- 
garians accompanied by an offer of arming and 
maintaining 100,000 men, was rejected by the Aufr^ 
tiian Cabinet as having come too late. 

On the 9th of July, twelve deputies from the 
insurgent corps of Kolyszko and Rozycki took 
their seats in the Diet. The presence of any 
representatives from Podolia, Volhynia, and Ukraina, 
for the first time since 1793, was regarded as a 
triumph, and their as yet undaunted spirit raised 
the courage of the assembly. 

Amidst the indifference, or antipathy manifested 
by the governments of Europe, the warm sympathy 
of the Germans cheered the gloomy prospects of the 
nation. Addresses and supplies of money, and 
lint, were sent to Warsaw, from Saxony, Hessen, 
Wirtemberg, Baden, and Bavaria. The German 
press was effectively encouraged by Polish com- 
mittees in the various states, and the Poles and 
their battles were every where the theme. The 
feeling was contagious, and even spread through 
Prussia ; and although the magistrates were obliged 
to sign certificates that they would hold no poli- 
tical discourse, it was found impossible to prevent 
the news of a Polish victory from being openly 
exulted in. In many cities, especially in Breslau, 
the expression of favour towards Russia, was often 
followed by insult and personal violence. The 



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FORTIFICATIONS OF WARSAW. 366 

Poles still looked towards France, and cherished 
the hope that on the July anniversary, " la pre- 
" mi^re nation du monde" would compel its 
government to assist " les Fran^ais du Nord." 
On that day, the national guard shouted in the 
court yard of the Tuileries, " Vive la Pologne," 
which the citizen king echoed in a voice too low 
to compromise him*. The untiring zeal of the 
people of Warsaw received fresh encouragement 
from these symptoms of foreign favour. At the 
appeal of the government, all classes laboured at 
the fortifications on the left of the Vistula, going 
forth to their task as in a solemn procession, 
adorned with garlands, waving standards, and 
accompanied by military music. It was an interest- 
ing moment when Prince Czartoryski approached 
to join in the work. The commander of the National 
Guard had planted on the walls the flag of the citizen 
hero of Warsaw, the bootmaker Kilinski. It was 
unfurled as the Prince appeared, and all voices 
welcomed him with filial love. Such feeling showed 
that he was worthy to have worn the thorny crown 
of Poland. 

The intelligence of the passage of the Russians 
damped their hopes, and all eyes turned to 
the Diet, which still bestowed every mark of con- 
fidence on Skrzynecki. To relieve the general 

* The French €k)yeniment contrived to entirely mystify the 
Parisians, by spreading a rumour of the Poles having gained a 
great victory. 



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366 COUNCIL OF WAR. 

anxiety, B* Niemoiowski moved ^^ that the govem- 
*^ ment should summon a council of war, consist^ 
*^ ing of the members of the government, the 
** general-in-chief, eleven deputies, and tibie generals 
" in active service, to inquire into the military posi* 
" tion of the country." It met on the 27th, and 
comprehended both favourers and adversaries of 
SkrzyneckL It was opened by Prince Czartoryski, 
and the first question that arose, was, whether the 
general-in-chief should be called upon to account 
for the past, or merely required to communicate his 
plans for the future, V. Niemoiowski and Lelewel, 
strongly advocated the last proposition, and Pron- 
dzynski proposed to read his memoir; but Skr^y- 
necki forbade him, and was supported by the 
other generals, who contended that so long as he 
retained his rank, no suboidinate officer had the 
right to accuse him. On being next reproached with 
having allowed the Russians to pass the Vistula, 
he replied by referring to Sebastiani's letter. Skrzy- 
necki spoke so modestly, and yet with so much elo- 
quence, as to put to shame those who had entertained 
any mistrust of him. The maj ori ty , therefore, decided 
on proceeding to the consideration of future plans. 
It appeared that there was still sufficient ammunition 
for three more battles, but provisions for only 
twenty-eight days ; and as the harvest had not yet 
commenced, and the presence of the enemy on the 
left prevented their obtaining supplies from that 
quarter, the generals rather advised to risk an 



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COUNCIL OF WAE. 367 

engagement, than expose the soldiers to starve by 
lingering near Warsaw, especially as the Russians 
were not more than 60,000 strong, and (what at the 
commencement of the war could scarcely have been 
anticipated,) the Poles now equalled them in 
number, though their cavalry was too ill-mounted for 
effective pursuit. Skrzynecki yielded with reluctance 
to the vote of the council, observing that, hitherto, 
he had shrunk from such a measure on his own 
responsibility, but that since the generals now 
advised it, and the Diet commanded, he was ready 
to perish with his whole army for the honour of 
the nation. His evil genius was, however, still at 
work, and he had no sooner left the capital on the 
30th of July, than he received a letter from Count 
Flahault, French Ambassador at BfxKn, urging him 
to follow Sebastiani's counsel, and at any price to 
avoid a battle. He hurried back, to persuade the 
deputies who were present at the late council, to 
cancel the resolution; but when, instead of this, 
they reiterated the injunction, he took leave of 
them much agitated, yet still professing himself 
ready to obey till his last ga^p, and requesting 
that public prayers for the Polish arms might be 
offered up in all the churches. 

It would seem that the insurrection was destined 
to end, as it had begun, in negociations. On the 
31st of July, the Russian general Tiemann, having 
demanded an interview with &ome Polish general, 
Cbrzanowski was deputed to meet him. The 
imperial plenipotentiary then offered the following 



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368 NEGOCIATION- 

conditions of peace : — 1st. That things in the 
kingdom should be restored to the state in which 
they were previous to the insurrection. — 2nd. That 
the rights of Polish nationality should be gua- 
ranteed to the sister countries. — 3rd. That there 
should be no confiscation of property either in 
the kingdom or the sister countries, but full 
amnesty proclaimed excepting only five individuals, 
not named, who should, however, be permitted to 
dispose of their property, and emigrate. — 4th. As a 
guarantee for the fulfilment of these promises, it was 
held out that Austria would pledge hersqlf to their 
performance, that all Russian garrisons should be 
withdrawn, and that the stipulations should not be 
binding on the Poles till every Russian soldier had 
evacuated the kingdom. — 6th. The Poles were re- 
quired to invite the emperor, by a deputation to 
St. Petersburgh, to a second coronation, and thus 
the legality of his deposition by the Diet was 
recognised. That such ample concessions should 
now be offered, when hitherto every overture of 
the Poles had been scornfully rejected, need not 
excite surprise. If, on the one hand, they seemed 
to bear witness to Polish valour, they were also 
calculated, in case of acceptance, to ensure a 
more complete triumph to Russia. The passage 
of the Vistula having been made a point of 
honour by either nation, Nicholas might now, 
without loss of dignity, make proposals for a 
reconciliation which would render him the dictator 
of Europe. The resources of the empire also being 



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NEGOCIATION. 3C9 

SO exhausted, that it was necessary to solicit aid 
from Prussia, he naturally dreaded the result of an 
unsuccessful battle on the left of the Vistula : besides 
which, the paramount obstacle to reconciliation no 
longer existed, the Grand Duke Constantine having 
died at Minsk on the 13th of July, the day after 
a visit from Count OrlofF, the harbinger of death, 
on his return from Berlin. As matters now stood, 
so many opportunities of defeating Russia having 
been lost, and the national resources so exhausted, 
the Poles might have followed the dictates of pru- 
dence, and accepted the proffered conditions, without 
any impeachment of their honour or constancy. But 
the National Government, aware of the ill faith of 
Russia, refused now in their turn to listen to the 
autocrat. Skrzynecki also objected to these terms, 
though unluckily he trusted for obtaining better ones 
to the since celebrated phrase given by the French 
Moniteur as pronounced before, the deputies by the 
sovereign of thirty-three millions of people — " la 
" nationalite Polonaise ne perira pas ! " When he 
joined the troops at Sochaczew, the Russians were 
already masters of an impregnable position at Lo- 
wicz, so that he was constrained to continue inactive 
for a time. Meanwhile public attention was unex- 
pectedly riveted on Dembinski, who had been left 
by Chlapowski and Gielgud in the forest of Kur- 
szany. 

On his first advance, a thin wood had almost 
miraculously concealed him from a Russian column 

B B 



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370 RETREAT OF DEMBINSKI. 

coming from Courland; and he had executed a 
very difficult march, when his satisfaction was 
damped by Chlapowski's absolute refusal to send 
him the 1st lancers, on the plea that it was only 
exposing those fine troops to be butchered. Thus 
he was abandoned with only 3800 men ; the greater 
part mere raw recruits, six guns, and about 450 artil- 
lery cartridges. To undertake, under such circum- 
stances, a march of thirty days through a country 
overrun by the enemy, demanded great courage; 
and Dembinski felt that if one only of the little 
band survived to tell of the attempt, neither himself 
nor they would be forgotten in their country's 
annals. Taking Vilno as the centre, he resolved to 
march to Poland in a circular line ; and on the 10th 
of July surprised and took a Rusi^n battalion. 
Proceeding next to Janiszkiele, he learned that the 
Russian General Savoiny, who had awaited him at 
Szavle till the 9th, had just made room for him by 
evacuating Poniwir, where he captured 200 Russians 
and some baggage. Here he summoned a council of 
twelve field officers, to consult once more as to the 
expediency of returning to Poland ; for, though 
himself decidedly in favour of the measure, he chose 
to provide against any future charge of selfishness in 
abandoning Lithuania : and though, as he had ex- 
pected, the majority decided for the return, yet 
he, the better to conceal his opinion, voted for 
staying. Savoiny being now in full pursuit of him, 
he broke up on the 14th, and had no sooner reached 



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RETREAT OF DEMBINSKI. 371 

Avanty on the 16th, than the Russian general fell 
upon him with his whole force. His destruction 
seemed inevitable. Strong Russian detachments 
were garrisoned on his right and left, and the only 
escape was across the lake of Inturki, by a bridge 
which might already be in the enemy's hands. He, 
however, maintained his ground till the failing light 
allowed him gradually to draw off his men, unper- 
ceived, to the adjacent wood ; then, contrary to the 
advice of the Lithuanians, approaching the lake, he 
found the bridge unguarded, and the next morning 
Savoiny beheld his intended victims safe on the 
opposite side. Following the course of the river 
Murza, Dembinski pushed on without delay to Pod- 
brzeze, although aware that the town was garrisoned 
by 2000 Russians ; but as it lay in his line of retreat, 
he resolved to meet the danger, and rushing across 
the bridge at full speed, took prisoners 200 of them, 
besides seizing 40,000 cartridges, and, what was still 
more fortunate, the whole apparatus of the sappers, 
of which he stood in need, to enable him to cross the 
Vilia and Niemen. He contrived to baffle Savoiny 
in his pursuit during three following days, and on 
the 19th of July arrived at Daniszew on the banks 
of the Vilia, several miles below Vilno. There, in- 
tercepted dispatches from Minsk apprised him, that 
Constantine was dead, and that the Governor of 
Vilno, not knowing his real force, and apprehensive 
of his attacking Duneburgh, had detached two regi- 
ments to the Dwina, and two to the Vileyka. Of 



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372 RETREAT OF DEMBINSKI. 

this good fortune he availed himself by crossing the 
Vilia at once. He then continued his march still 
unmolested towards the Niemen, which he intended 
to cross at Zboiska; but seeing a detachment of 
Russian hussars on the opposite side, he believed 
himself surrounded, and was about to conceal him- 
self in a neighbouring wood, when he learned that 
those men themselves were flying from the insur- 
gents of Novogrodek, and on seeing him, they fled 
once more. He had crossed on the morning of the 
22nd; and on seeing the river between the again 
baflled enemy and his men, he ordered a gun to be 
fired in token of his moral triumph. 

It will for ever be a matter of wonder, how 3800 
raw soldiers, pursued by a corps of 8000 men, could 
effect their retreat during a fourteen days* march 
through a country where, from Kurszany and Cour- 
land to the Niemen, they had to pass within a few 
miles of seventeen places where the enemy had gar- 
risons, every one of which respectively exceeded them 
in number. It may be said, and truly, that fortune 
favoured Dembinski ; but fortune in war is variable, 
and it is by the manner in which a general avails 
himself of lucky events that his real capacity is dis- 
played. Although the want of skill of the Russian 
generals contributed to Dembinski's success, the 
strategist must acknowledge his superior military 
talent, and the historian his high moral courage. 

From the Niemen, Dembinski directed his course 
towards the forest of Bialowies, where he again con- 



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RETREAT OF DEMBINSKI. 373 

trived to elude the enemy. At Novogrodek, he was 
joined by 300 insurgents ; and 3000 Russians sent 
against them by the Governor of Slonim, so little 
expected Dembinski's arrival in that quarter, that 
they hastily retired on perceiving his vanguard. 
Sending some of the cavalry in pursuit of them, he 
feigned a design upon Slonim with the main body, 
and then suddenly advanced to the river Szczara, 
between which and Dereczyn is a dyke four miles 
long, having six bridges. Had the enemy been 
more on the alert, Dembinski's expedition must have 
terminated here ; but on the report of his march 
upon Slonim, 500 hussars, by quitting Dereczyn, 
to cover the threatened position, left him a free 
passage along the dyke, which must have seemed 
almost providential to him, as an intercepted dispatch 
had stated that all the bridges over the Szczara 
having been destroyed, Dembinski would be com- 
pelled to surrender. He reached the forest on the 
27th, and found it surrounded by Russian troops, as 
some insurgent bands within still carried on their 
warfare. Here, like another Columbus, he was 
exposed to a still greater peril than all the past, 
and from his own companions in arms. A report 
was spread through the corps by an officer whom 
he had severely reprimanded for breach of discipline, 
that he had sold them to the Russians ; and, as ever 
since Gielgud*s affair, suspicions of treachery had 
become familiar to men's minds, the falsehood found 
believers. The sight also of more troops approach- 



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374 RETREAT OF DEMBINSKI. 

ing seemed to sanction the charge, and greatly 
increased the peril of his situation. But nowise 
daunted, Dembinski at once placed the ringleader 
of the discontent under arrest, and by a short ex- 
planatory address, recovered the confidence of his 
men, who were further tranquillised by recog- 
nising, in the apprehended enemies, a band of 
Poles. It was the Polish General Rozycki, with 1000 
men, whose late progress from Siedlce to Lithuania 
had been attended with numerous, though not very- 
important successes. On the 28th he had a severe 
contest with a Russian force, which was laying siege 
to the forest ; and at Narewka, on the 29th, he heard 
that Dembinski was arrived, and marched forward to 
meet him. The latter, after the late painful occur- 
rences, was so overpowered with joy at his appear- 
ance, that he knelt down, and, with tears in his eyes, 
returned thanks to Heaven. Rozycki was at first 
unwilling to go back, but consented, on Dembinski 
representing the impossibility of holding out longer 
in Lithuania. The last and perhaps the greatest of 
his perils still awaited Dembinski. General Rosen 
had been for eight days on the look out for him 
with a strong force at Siematycze, and had made 
so sure of his prize, that in his preposterous exulta- 
tion he used to say daily, as he pointed out the spot 
on the map to his officers, " here Dembinski must 
** perish !" He was the more vigilant, as the cap- 
ture of this devoted band would have been some 
compensation for the loss of his own corps of 



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RETREAT OF DEMBINSKI. 375 

30,000 men ; but Dembinski detached some cavalry 
upon Bronsk ; and while Savoiny's and Rosen's van- 
guards v^ere expecting him in that quarter, he was 
entering the kingdom by Sterdin. On hearing of his 
escape, Rosen, it is said, tore his hair with vexation, 
and uttered bitter imprecations against himself. On 
the 3rd of August Dembinski approached Marki, three 
miles from Praga : and here a triumph awaited him 
such as he had never dreamt of. Prince Czartoryski, 
accompanied by some generals and several members 
of the Diet, first came out to give him welcome, 
under the impression that he had only effected a 
lucky escape. No one indeed knew the extent of 
his achievement, yet, as if by a secret intimation of 
the honour rendered to the country, the population 
of the city poured out in throngs to meet him. 
Colonel Sierakowski hurried forward before his regi- 
ment to catch a sight of his wife and family ; and his 
little son, a boy of five years old, being lifted on his 
horse, repeated the lines of Krasicki, " Oh, sacred 
" love of the dear Fatherland," while the people 
listened to the infantine accents with gushing tears. 
When finally Dembinski appeared, the simultane- 
ous cheer of at least 60,000 voices, and the cry of 
" Poland is not yet lost," told him that his worth 
was at least appreciated, though the precise nature 
of his recent efforts might not yet be understood. 
His soldiers, worn out with fatigue, clothed as they 
were in Russian uniforms of all regiments, furnished 
with weapons not less various, and with horses and 



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376 RETREAT OF DEMBINSKI. 

accoutrements^ SamogitiaDy Polish^ Circassian, Cabar* 
dian, and Cossack, bore witness, by their motley and 
picturesque exterior, to their past difficulties. The 
women and children followed the crowd still thick- 
ening round Dembinski, kissing his hands and feet, 
and shouting wishes for his long life. Before the 
vice-regal palace, he was met by the other members of 
the government, and there V. Niemoiowski thus 
addressed him : — " General! forsaken by fortune, you 
" did not forsake the cause. We thank you in the 
" name of the nation ; you have restored husbands to 
" their wives, — to the country her sons." — "Wives,*' 
rejoined Dembinski abruptly, " must now expect to 
" become widows, for by thus receiving us, you so 
" raise the spirit of self-sacrifice, that at the next 
" opportunity every one will brave certain death, 
" rather than not prove himself worthy of the 
'' country." The Diet bestowed on him and his men 
an honour never before conferred on any general. 
A vote was passed, " that they had deserved well of 
*' their country;" and printed copies of it were pre- 
sented to every officer and soldier. No one, except 
Chlopicki, had ever arrived at such popularity; but 
it required extreme tact to maintain it amidst the 
irritation and anxiety now pervading all parties^ 
Dembinski, whose speech was as sharp as his sword, 
and who would no more have spared his friends 
(if he had any,) than his adversaries, loudly censured 
all who were dissatisfied with Skrzynecki, whose 
noble character, courage, and patriotism he revered. 



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DEPUTATION OF THE DIET. 377 

On being appointed Governor of Warsaw, he 
was scarcely installed in his new office, before 
he drew upon himself universal odium. One of 
the National Guard having called the Governor of 
Praga a traitor, Dembinski would have had him 
shot for the offence, and the government was obliged 
to interfere, and pronounce that such an act was 
beyond the limits of his authority. 

The Diet, still farther augmented by seventeen 
Lithuanian deputies, now took upon itself to express 
the public impatience at the continued inactivity of 
the general-in-chief ; and, on the 9th, sent three 
members of the government and ten senators and 
deputies to his head quarters, with directions to 
ascertain the sentiments of the army, and to super- 
sede him in case he no longer possessed their confi- 
dence. After the 4th of August, the Poles had occupied 
a position at Sochaczew, having their centre on the 
chauss^e ; but Skrzynecki, in the fear that the 
Russians, by advancing upon Bolimow, might out- 
flank him and get to Warsaw, iresolved to take that 
station himself. The troops on arriving at the 
extensive plain before Bolimow, believed that a 
battle was at length intended, and cheered him 
loudly wherever he passed. These shouts he con- 
tinued to excite by his presence, as an evidence to the 
delegates of the Diet who were then at hand^ and 
whose mission he comprehended, of the good- 
will they entertained for him, — and in truth, the 
deputies were perplexed, and half tempted to accept 



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378 DEPUTATION OP THE DIET. 

this burst of enthusiasm as an intimation that their 
mission was closed. At length, however, they resolved 
to notify to Skrzynecki, who was apparently quite re- 
gardless of their arrival, that a deputation from the 
Diet desired an interview. At first, his tone towards 
them was rather ironical, as if he supposed them come 
to assist him in beating the enemy ; and on their 
inquiring for some place of conference, he pointed 
out a barn close to his head quarters. In that bam 
the fate of Poland was decided. There they at once 
requested him to explain frankly, why he persisted 
in temporising, when the enemy was so anxious 
to fight, and the capital so discontented. Without 
entering into military details, of which the deputies 
would have understood but little, he assured them, 
in general terms, that no man loved his country 
more than he did, but that honour and duty, no 
less than experience, forbade him to shed one 
drop of blood contrary to his convictions, and 
that no popular or ill-judging cry should force 
him to set all upon* a single die, by giving battle 
at Bolimow. The arguments of the deputies were 
vain. He again declared, that if he were to 
come off with the loss of one life, he never would 
give his consent to the battle, but if the Diet 
should think fit to appoint some other ready to 
risk it, he was, on his part, ready to serve under 
that person in any capacity, in which he would 
do his duty as a soldier and a Pole. 

Pursuant to their instructions, the delegates then 



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DISMISSAL OF SKRZYNECKI. 379 

desired him to summon all the generals, colonels, 
and commanders of artillery companies. These 
soon assembled to the number of 200, and from 
their respective written statements, it was evident 
that Skrzynecki had lost the confidence of the 
troops, but that a battle at Bolimow was considered 
by the officers as impracticable, and that they in con- 
sequence advised a retreat towards the vicinity of 
Warsaw, there to adopt a new plan of operations. 
After these statements, the deputation was bound 
to elect a new generalissimo, and another council 
of sixty-seven generals and colonels was called for 
this purpose. Twenty-two of these voted in favour 
of Skrzynecki, considering that his firmness of 
character and matchless valour in defence, rendered 
him the fittest commander in the actual state of the 
war. As there was no majority in favour of either 
of the three other candidates, the deputation ap- 
pointed Dembinski provisional commander until 
further orders from the Diet. Ever prompt to obey, 
he arrived at Bolimow on the 11 th, but on becoming 
more distinctly acquainted with the proceedings of 
the delegates towards Skrzynecki, he severely cen- 
sured their convening a military diet under the 
very eye of the enemy. As they appeared to 
entertain some doubts of Dembinski, and actually 
forced Prondzynski upon him as the chief of his 
staff, he would only consent to hold the command 
for sixty hours. His present position was by 
no means enviable. Having acquired his high rank 



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380 DEMBINSKI, GENERAL-IN-CHIEF. 

and characteat a distance from the principal scene 
of action, he was but little known to the army, 
and had besides to contend against the military 
prejudices of the infantry officers, by whom it 
was considered irregular to entrust the supreme 
command to a general, who, at the outbreak of 
the war, had been merely the chief of a squadron. 
Fully aware of these disadvantages, he was anxious 
to obtain Skrzynecki's patronage, and at his own 
request, was presented by him to the troops on the 
12th of August. They naturally felt some regret at 
parting with the general who had so often led them 
to battle and to victory ; and his noble countenance, 
his composed and stately bearing, and the more 
than ordinary pathos of his voice, formed a con- 
trast with the toil-worn aspect of his successor, 
by no means favourable to the latter. All the 
regiments unanimously cheered him, while they 
received Dembinski in torturing silence, who, losing 
his presence of mind, joined in their applause, and 
told them that he wished only to imitate their late 
chief, a man without fear or reproach. Quickly 
they drew the inference, and asked themselves what 
had they gained, if the new commander meant to 
follow in the steps of the old one, and to his faults 
would probably not join his brilliant qualities; and 
from that moment he lost their confidence. 

Upon receiving the report of their delegates, stating 
that the present embarrassment had arisen from the 
participation of the generalissimo in the executive, 



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REFORM OF THE GOVERNMENT. 381 

the Diet resolved that the office should in future be 
held without any share in the government and by its 
appointment. This decree annulled the nomination 
of Dembinski, for V. Niemoiowski and Morawski 
the constitutionalists, and Lelewel, the would-be 
revolutionist, could not forget nor forgive his aver- 
sion to the interference of the civil authority in 
military affairs. It was, however, easier to dismiss 
one generalissimo than to find another. Pron- 
dzynski refused the high trust, alleging that, 
although not a fit commander-in-chief, Skrzynecki 
was yet the best infantry officer, and, as it was not 
to be expected that he would serve under one 
who had been his accuser, the army would thus be 
deprived of his valuable services. As the three 
already named members persisted in refusing their 
votes to Dembinski, as also to Chrzanowski, who had 
incautiously advocated military dictatorship, the 
perplexed government dispatched the Deputy 
Zwierkowski to the camp, to offer the chief com- 
mand to General Malachowski, or, in case of his 
refusal, once more to Prondzynski, and should he 
still decline, Zwierkowski was authorised to invest 
Lubienski with temporary command. Meantime 
Dembinski had divided the army into thi^ee corps, 
one of which he placed under Skrzynecki, and in 
conformity to the decision of the military council, 
left Bolimow for Warsaw on the 16th. Towards 
noon his rear-guard, under Ramorino, was overtaken 
at Szymanow, and had not Dembinski felt con- 



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382 THE CLUBBISTS. 

scious that he was actually no longer in command, 
he would have seized that opportunity for a general 
engagement. 

The real motives for the return of the army not 
being known in Warsaw, a report arose there, that 
Dembinski and Skrzynecki had combined to assume 
a dictatorial power, which the apparently usurping 
proceedings of the one, and the imprudence of the 
other at Bolimow greatly tended to confirm, and 
which Lelewel and his set, rendered yet more alarm- 
ing by their ignorant anticipations of danger, 

The 15th of August was a holiday, and the streets 
were thronged when the news that the army was on 
the retreat, reached the capital. The patriotic club, 
secretly worked upon by Krukowiecki's agents, 
immediately assembled, and resolved to depute three 
members to demand from government the dismissal 
of Skrzynecki, and the immediate punishment of 
the state prisoners. On arriving at the Royal 
Palace, where the members of the government had 
assembled, and obtaining admission under pretext of 
an audience for the people of Warsaw, they dilated 
on the general consternation at the return of the army ; 
adding also their recommendation to government to 
take measures for the public safety, and without 
further delay, to pronounce sentence on the state 
prisoners. With his usual affability. Prince Czarto- 
ryski condescended to assure them, that the govern- 
ment was not neglectful ; that although the situation 
of affairs was difficult, it was not desperate ; and 



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THE CLUBBISTS. 383 

that the decision concerning the prisoners, which 
had been delayed by the number of documents to 
be examined, would very shortly be made public. 
Such of the clubbists as still kept within the bounds 
of propriety, were satisfied with this reply ; but one 
of them presuming to stigmatize Skrzynecki as a 
traitor, they were desired to retire. Lelewel, pale, 
and seemingly absorbed in reading, had remained 
silent during the whole scene; but on being re- 
proached by the Governor of Warsaw for foment- 
ing the disorders, he did not attempt to deny the 
charge. 

The clubbists next endeavoured to inflame the 
populace, by insinuating that the government were 
endeavouring to delay the passing sentence against 
the prisoners, who were already acquitted- of the 
charge of high treason ; and Jankowski was about 
to be absolved by a court martial from that of insub- 
ordination, or ratlier of incapacity. Ever ready to 
become the tool of demagogues, and blinded by 
Krukowiecki's agents, the mob proceeded towards 
evening to the Royal Casfle, intending to execute 
their execrable justice; but a shower coming on 
dispersed them quickly, just as Prince Czartoryski, 
who had been warned that his life was threatened 
that night, drove by on his way to the camp. 

At night-fall, all signs of the storm, which had 
lowered during the day, having disappeared, the 
governor and the commander of the national guard. 



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384 DEATH OP JANKOWSKI. 

not suspecting that the vigilant Krukowiecki was 
labouring in darkness to perfect his plot, imprudently 
neglected taking further precautions, when, at half- 
past eleven, about 100 men, of respectable appear- 
ance, rushed to the gates of the castle. Some sixty 
of the national guard on watch fired, upon which 
the agents of Krukowiecki immediately raising the 
cry of " the guard is butchering the people," accom- 
panied by assurances that their only object was to 
ensure the punishment of the traitors, whom the 
guards also viewed as such, overcame all resistance, 
and got possession of the prisoners. Jankowski 
was first dragged forward ; and, on the remark of 
some of the guard, that the palace of Polish kings 
ought not to be polluted with blood, he was hurried 
away, and hanged on the nearest lantern-post. 
His companions suffered the same fate, whilst an- 
other party of the mob, also led by Krukowiecki's 
emissaries, murdered thirty spies in the prison of 
Wola. The whole affair took up but a quarter of 
an hour. 

Meantime, Niemoiowski, Barzykowski, and Mo- 
rawski receiving notice of the assumption of the 
authority of governor by Krukowiecki, although 
the former governor still nominally held the office, 
deemed it more prudent to render him responsible 
by confirming him in the charge than to permit him 
to usurp it unauthorised. 

The three beforenamed generals having all refused 



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REFORM OF GOVERNMENT. 385 

the supreme command, the constitutionalists at 
length yielded, and gave their votes to Dembinski, 
and he, on hearing of these lamentable occurrences, 
approached Warsaw that same evening. The next 
morning, the 17th, he rode into the city, determined 
by the late excesses, to proclaim himself dictator. 
As a preparatory step, he issued an address to the 
army, representing the horrors of the 15th, as a 
deep device of the enemy, in the prosecution of 
which, not even children nor pregnant women had 
been spared. This, however, was not true, for except 
a Russian woman, no female nor child perished, and 
the crimes of that night were wholly chargeable 
on the clubbists. Seventeen of them were next 
brought to a court-martial. He then hastened to 
the Royal Palace, where he found that the govern- 
ment, on the motion of Prince Czartoryski, had 
just dissolved itself, from unwillingness to associate 
any longer with Lelewel. Dembinski now deemed 
the moment come for his assumption of the supreme 
power; but he gave way to his friends, who entreated 
him to consult the Diet. Upon the very first men- 
tion of his pretensions, the deputies threatened to fire 
upon him rather than sanction them, and unwilling 
to add another bloody page to his country's annals 
he relinquished his project. The Diet then met to 
provide a new government, and at the suggestion of 
B. Niemoiowski, resolved that it should in future 
consist of an irresponsible president (a constitu- 
ticmal king), who should appoint six responsible 

c c 



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386 BATTLE OF ILZA. 

ministers, as also a commander-in-chief, but that he 
should not be eligible to that office hunself • During 
the debate, the palace was surrounded by cannon, the 
gunners standing ready with matches lighted. The 
astonished deputies anxiously inquired of each other 
the cause of this precaution, some conceivuig it to be 
a device of Dembinski to terrify them uito electing 
him president, whilst the greater part attributed it 
with more reason to Krukowiecki. Aware of their 
apprehensive state of muid, he had circulated lists 
of certain deputies whose lives were threatened, and 
this stratagem, added to their exaggerated idea of his 
influence over the citizens, secured to him a majority 
of votes. 

At the moment of Krukowiecki's usurpation, 
scarcely any part of their country, excepting War- 
saw, Modlui, and Zamosc, remained in the pos- 
session of the Poles. General Rozycki being 
appouited governor of the palatinates of E^alish, 
Sandomir, and Gracow, had departed with his small 
band for Sandomir on the 4th of August, but arrived 
too late to prevent Rudiger from crossing the Vistula 
with 14,000 men and eighteen cannon. Having 
collected from the various depots, eight cannon and 
about 6,000 men, amongst them C. Rozycki^s Vol- 
hynian regiment, he awaited the Russians at Ilza on 
the 9th, and for seven hours resisted their overwhelm- 
ing superiority of force. C. Rozycki, at the head 
of his cavahy, drawn up as usual, in single rank, 
advanced against the dragoons of Colonel Gienich, 



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RESPECTIVE, FORCE OF HOSTILE PARTIES. S87 

a man not less chivalrous than himself. They 
seemed to seek each other out, and whilst their troops 
made a sudden pause, they amazed them by a single 
combat, recalling those of Homer. At length, the 
Russian fdl, and his men were cut to pieces. 
Rozycki, however, retired during the night, in order 
to guard 14,000 Russian prisoners in the palatinate 
of Cracow. 

The Russian army now poured in from all quar- 
ters, and encompassed Warsaw. Paszkiewicz lay 
encamped before the walls with 70,000 men and 
350 cannon. Kreutz was marching in from Lithua- 
nia, with 25,000,— Rosen, with 16,000, was stationed 
a few miles from Praga,— -KayzarofF and Rudiger, 
with their respective corps of 10,000 and 14,000 
men, were in the palatinate of Lublin, and San- 
domir ; and Rott was daily expected from Volhynia 
with 16,000. The Polish army at Warsaw, including 
the garrison of Praga, reckoned about 60,000 regu- 
lars, with 140 field pieces, besides 6000 national 
guards, and the garrisons of ModUn and Zamosc j 
and thus the forces of both nations were as nume- 
rous as at the commencement of the war, and, as 
then, a defeat of either would have been decisive, 
since both had put at stake all their available 
resources. But it was no longer with the Poles as 
at Grochow, when they had four unoccupied pala- 
tinates to fall back upon. Now shut up in Warsaw, 
their provisions and ammunition exhausted, their 
only hope was, by one last great struggle, to r€fcon- 



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388 COUNCIL OF WAR. 

quer their country, or to perish in the attempt. But 
to Krukowiecki the insurrection seemed already at 
an end, and he was desirous to retain his power, 
with the sole view to employ it in the final pacifica- 
tion, and monopolise an advantageous result of the 
catastrophe. On the 19th, summoning a council of 
war, he invidiously asked what remained to be done 
in the situation to which Skrzynecki had reduced 
the country? Chrzanowski advised battle on the 
plains of Warsaw, before the enemy could collect 
their force, though the dismounted state of the 
cavalry rendered this measure hazardous. Dem- 
binski proposed to abandon Warsaw, and march 
into Volhynia; a bold plan, which, if adopted, 
would at least have protracted the war six months 
longer. The rejection of both these alternatives did 
but afford another proof of the inefficiency of mili- 
tary councils, and it was resolved to adopt the more 
practicable, but less vigorous proposition of the 
three, and send two corps, one against Rosen, and 
the other into the palatinate of Plock, each with the 
object of providing the army and the city with pro- 
visions. Krukowiecki was so much alarmed by the 
plan of Dembinski, which must necessarily have 
brought his reign to a speedy close, that he imme- 
diately dismissed him, under the pretext of disobe- 
dience to orders in suffering Skrzynecki to remain 
in the camp*, and induced Malachowski to take his 

* Skrzynecki was then compelled to take refuge at the 
Austrian consuls reddence. 



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BATTLE OF MIEDZYRZEC. 389 

place, by assurances that he should be relieved from 
all responsibility on every important occasion by the 
decision of a council of war. 

On the night of the 20th, Lubienski, with 
4000 cavalry, departed for the Plock palatinate; 
and 20,000 men, with 40 cannon, under General 
Ramorino, marched against Rosen in Podlachia. 
Prince Czartoryski, the guiding star of the insur- 
rection, accompanied them, exchanging his late 
dignified station for the fatigue and danger of 
a camp. Ramorino, admirable for his personal 
valour, and precision in executing a plan, showed 
himself so utterly incapable of concerting one, 
that the prince, at the very commencement of 
the march, found himself compelled to apply to 
Krukowiecki for a more able commander. Pron- 
dzynski was accordingly dispatched from Warsaw, 
and would at once have attempted to cut off 
Rosen from Brzesc Litewski ; but this general, fore- 
warned by Rudiger with promises of succour, that 
Ramorino was approaching, hastily withdrew to 
Miedzyrzec, destroying all the biidges behind him. 
He had got so far, that Prondzynski, losing hope 
of overtaking him, detached a division of infantry 
towards Kock, for the chance of enticing Rudiger to 
cross ; and, on the 29th, with the remainder of his 
force, followed in the track of Rosen. The latter, 
reinforced at Miedzyrzec, awaited the Poles there 
in a strong position ; but Prondzynski, amusing him 
by a show of intending to attack the town, sent an 
infantry division and two cavalry regiments through 



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390 VICTORY OF ROGOZNICA. 

the wood to Rogoznica, situated behind Mie- 
dzyrzec, upon the chaussee of Brzesc Litewski, and 
where there was an equally strong party of the 
enemy. Exulting in the thought of at length en- 
countering their foe, the Poles rushed on them at 
the point of the bayonet, and for a long time refus- 
ing to give quarter, killed 3000 of them in an 
entrenched cemetery, and took 2000 prisoners, whilst 
Rosen availed himself of the darkness to quit Mie- 
dzyrzec. The object of the expedition was effected, 
for the capital was now furnished with two ^lonths' 
provisions ; but Ramorino, after Prondzynski's re^ 
turn thither, still continued to pursue Rosen, who, 
but an hour's march in advance, succeeded in cross- 
ing the Bug at Brzesc Litewski. 

In the meaiitime, the Lelewel party at length woke 
from their delusion, and perceiving that Krukowiecki 
would hasten the ruin of the country, conspired against 
his life. He discovered their plot, and employing one 
regiment to guard his residence, he sent away the best 
paxt of the national guard to Karczew, upon the pre- 
text, that the enemy were about to throw a bridge 
there across the Vistula, and prohibited the arming 
of 14,000 of the guard of safety j a measure to which 
even the Diet had assented. Thus did Lelewel twice 
iiy ure his country ; first, in bringing Krukowiecki 
into power ; and then, by his treasonable intrigues, 
depriving the capital of its best defenders, 

When Kreutz joined the Russian army on the 
27th, Paszkiewicz determined on assaulting Warsaw 
during the absence of Ramorino's corps. Desirous 



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FORTIFICATIONS OF WARSAW. 391 

to lull the Poles into security, he sent an officer to 
Warsaw on the 4th of September to offer peace, on 
condition of their evacuating the city, and once 
more acknowledging the emperor as their monarch, 
in which case things were to remain as they had 
been previous to the insurrection. To offers which 
in fact implied unconditional submission, Kruko- 
wiecki's ministers would not listen, and the next day 
Prondzynski bore for answer to the Russian camp, 
that the Poles would treat only on the principle of 
national independence. Still Krukowiecki did not 
seem to apprehend ah assault, and, although an aide- 
de-camp departed that very morning for Miedzy- 
rzec, neglected to recall Ramorino. At this critical 
moment the Polish forces in Warsaw amounted to 
about 30,000 men and 92 field pieces ; its strongest 
material defences consisting in the barricades across 
the streets, and in various mines prepared beneath. 
The rampart beyond the walls was, in general, only 
musket proof, although, at certain points, it had 
been strengthened to re^st artillery. A double chain 
of lunettes outside the ramparts surrounded the 
city, and to defend all these works the besieged pos- 
sessed only 108 heavy pieces of cannon. The line 
of operations extending eleven miles, the average of 
defaisive force was one soldier to every six feet ; 
and as the city, by its position <m the vast plain of 
Wola, where the Poles used formerly to elect their 
kings, was accessible on all sides, and that the 
Russians were at liberty to choose their point of 



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392 ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 

attack^ it was evident that no stand could be made 
beyond the walls. 

The Russian army now amounted to 108 batta- 
lions^ 120 squadrons, and 386 cannon, in all about 
100,000 men. In the night of the 6th, they de- 
camped from Raszyn, and drawing up opposite to 
Wola, left no room for doubting that the assault was 
intended to begin the next day, though it might be 
a question whether they would open the attack on 
that point, the most strongly fortified of all. On 
the 6th, the two months' delay demanded by France 
was to expire, yet she made no effort to save the 
Poles, though but for her treacherous interference 
not a Russian would by that time have been left in 
their land. 

On the 6th, at five in the morning, the Russians 
opened a ninety-gun battery upon two lunettes to 
the left of Wola, the one defended by two infantry 
companies, with five guns, and the other by one 
company and four guns. The Russian battery 
played for an hour before it could silence these four 
cannon, after which four regiments rushed to the 
assault. The Poles fought desperately, and even 
when finally driven from the breast work, some of 
the privates who would have surrendered, were killed 
by their own officers. The lunette being scaled on 
the left, the rest gathering together on the right, 
fought, till even, by the Russian statement, four 
men only remained alive. This was a company of the 
8th of the line, which, before the insurrection, had been 



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ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 893 

commanded by Skrzynecki ; and thus would he, had 
he remained at the head of the army, with them 
have fought and fallen. The other lunette party was 
assailed by five regiments ; they also resisted, with 
great havoc of the enemy, until only eleven men of 
the two companies being left, Lieutenant Novo- 
sielski set fire to a powder magazine, blowing up 
himself and them, and strewing the earth around, 
him with Russian corpses. This carnage lasted two 
hours. The battery of Wola was too remote to 
afford assistance; and General Bem, who had a 
reserve of fifty cannon, remaining passive at the 
Warsaw observatory, under the impression that the 
main attack would still take place at the barrier of 
Mokotow, the Russians having in fact made some 
demonstration on that side, but were repulsed with 
loss by Uminski. 

At seven o'clock, a one-hundred gun battery was 
opened against Wola, which was defended by 2000 
infantry and eight cannon ; one battalion being com- 
manded by Peter Wysocki, and the whole corps by 
General Sowinski, who, on that day nineteen years 
back, had lost a leg at the assault on Mozaysk, and 
had, at his own earnest request, been entrusted with 
this stronghold, which he had vowed never to sur- 
render but with ,life. His eight guns being soon 
silenced, thirty battalions rushed forwards on all 
sides. The slaughter continued for an hour after the 
enemy had forced the village, the Poles disputing 
every inch of ground till Wysocki, being mortally 



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394 ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 

wounded and a prisoner, Sowinski retired into a 
church, where, seated in a chair, refusing quarter, 
he continued firing the loaded muskets laid by his side 
till he also expired, pierced by many bayonets, " still 
" preserving, even in death," said a Russian eye-wit- 
ness, " a menacing aspect." Paszkiewicz then pushed 
forward numerous squadrons towards the barrier 
of Wola, vifhich Bem repulsing with his admirable 
artillery, the Poles were tempted to endeavour to 
recapture the place; but the Russians presenting 
thentiselves in great numbers before Mokotow, and 
Krukowiecki asserting that their main attack would 
be in that quarter, only four battalions, one of which 
belonged to the 4th of the line, could be spared for this 
service. Supported by Bem with his artillery, and 
two squadrons, they advanced with matchless energy, 
while Paszkiewicz, equally resolved on retaining his 
conquest, poured out fresh columns upon them. 
The Russians represent this as the severest part of 
the action. Three times were their battalions driven 
bock into Wola j btit the Poles being unable to force 
an entrance, or any longer to support the tremend- 
ous fire, desisted from thdr enterprise, and retired 
about four o'clock. A cannonade through the whiole 
line wound up that day's struggle. Only one small 
part of the outer line of fortification was lost, the 
Russians having be^i unsuccessful at every other 
point. 

On the failure of this attempt to retake Wola, 
Krukowiecki announced to his niinistersi that the 



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ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 395 

fall of Warsaw could not be protracted beyond the 
following ds^y, and that he therefore demanded an 
authority to treat. They replied, in the words of 
the national motto, " conquer, or die ;" whereupon 
he referred to the standing committees of the Diet, 
who, under the impression that he would not over- 
step his authority, but was only endeavouring to 
gain time for Ramorino's return, gave him to under- 
stand that, according to existing laws, he certainly 
had the right to negociate. It was late in the even- 
ing when their opinion reached him, and towards 
midnight he charged Prondzynski with the follow- 
ing letter to Paszkiewicz :-— ^^ Blood has again 
'^ flowed; thousands of fresh victims have fallen. 
" The President of the National Government there- 
" fore considers it his duty to inquire whether the 
'* terms on which the generalissimo of the Imperial 
" troops will consent to treat, are such as the Poles 
^^ may accept consistently with their honour and 
" safety/' At three o'clock in the morning Pron- 
dzynski delivered this letter to Paszkiewicz, who 
agreed to suspend hostQities till nine, at which hour 
Kjukowiecki was to come to Wola to arrange the 
conditions of peace. Accompanied by Prondzynski, 
he arrived, and was received by Paszkiewicz and the 
Grand Duke MichadL On the plea that the capture 
of Wola had materially changed the aspect of aiE&urs 
in his favour, the FieldMarshal now d^anaadeduncos^ 
ditional submission, and the surrender of Warsaw. 
Krukowiecki replying that before he could comply. 



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396. ASSAULT ON WARSAWl 

he must have the authority of the Diet, and throw- 
ing out hopes that he might obtain it, the armistice 
was prolonged till two o'clock in the afternoon. His 
ministers in the meantime abhorring any share in 
such treasonable proceedings, sent in their resigna- 
tions. Deprived of their countenance, Krukowiecki 
sent Prondzynski to the Diet, in order to obtain 
their sanction by exaggerating the danger. His 
nerves, shaken by long imprisonment under Con- 
stantine, and at this moment distracted by passionate 
anxiety for the fate of his young vife, exposed, like 
others, to fall into the hands of the Russians, Pron- 
dzynski fulfilled his mission with dishonourable 
ability. On entering the Diet, he demanded a pri- 
vate audience, and introduced his subject with nerv- 
ous eagerness, stating, that in going round the Rus- 
sian camp with Paszkiewicz, he had observed all 
with a keen eye, and had beheld, in the first line, 
20,000 men, in front of whom stood multitudes 
of volunteers provided with engines for the siege, 
" destined," so said Paszkiewicz, " to fill the ditch 
" with their bodies, over which 60,000 more were 
" ready to pass." He had also seen their well-stored 
magazines of ammunition. The Poles, he reminded 
the Diet, had only 14,000 effective men, not enough 
to defend the town for another hour from the savage 
enemy, wild to slaughter, bum, plunder, dishonour, 
and destroy. He called upon them, therefore, to 
save the capital of Poland, the cradle of her 
civilization, of science, and art. He represented the 



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ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 397 

conqueror, as promising to respect the treaty of 
Vienna, to restore things to their former state — as 
offering full amnesty to the kingdom, mercy to the 
sister provinces, liberty of the press, and the depar- 
ture of every Russian soldier; and concluded by 
saying, that should the honour of the Diet forbid 
them to accept the terms, there was yet a resource, 
for Krukowiecki was ready to take upon himself the 
painful duty ; and that the Diet had but to adjourn, 
and authorise him in general terms to conclude a treaty. 
Yelowiecki rose to counteract the effect of his coward 
eloquence. He had just spoken, he said, with Bem, 
who warned him not to trust Krukowiecki, asserting 
alsa-*and he, Bem, was a competent judge — that 
the city could still hold out twenty-four hours, until 
the arrival of Ramorino, and that the Russians having 
already expended as much ammunition as Napoleon 
had provided for the whole Moscow campaign, would 
not be able to maintain another such cannonade as 
that of the preceding day. ^bide, therefore, by your 
manifesto, he added ; recollect that Russia must ulti- 
mately observe the treaty of Vienna, to avoid a war 
with the other powers. These words restored the 
courage of the deputies. The clock struck one; 
Prondzynski, incessantly drawing out his watch, 
repeated continually, " Gentlemen, decide. You 
" have still another hour, and then the roar of the 
'* cannon will be heard, and the enemy will burst 
" into the city." At a quarter to two, the Russians 
broke the armistice, and opened a tremendous fire of 



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398 ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 

two hundred guns, in a line perpendicular to the 
pakbce of the Diet^ This, answered by a Polish 
battery of eighty guns, caused the building to shake. 
A deputy then rose, and admonished his colleagues 
to await in their places the issue of the combat, and 
to dismiss the general to the field, where he might 
be of use. This proposal was received with acclama- 
tions, and Prondzynski was charged with the verbal 
answer, that the president must conduct any negoci- 
ations according to the existing laws. The marshal 
then moved that the public should be re-^mitted ; 
and the deputies resumed a debate respecting the 
gift of landed property to the peasantry, that the 
enemy on coming might find them occupied to the 
last, with the welfare of the people. 

Still keeping up the fire from Wola, at three 
o'clock the Russians commenced a severe attack on 
the left, which was resisted till five by Uminski, 
who entirely destroyed two hussar regiments. The 
Poles were less successful in the direction of Wola, 
and were obliged to abandon the rest of the 3rd line 
of fortification. Paszkiewicz having been wounded 
at the commencement of the assault. Toll assumed 
the command, and prepared to make a decisive 
attack. 

Meanwhile Krukowiecki ^vailed himself of the 
message from the Diet to send Prondzynski to the 
Russian camp, with authority **to conclude a treaty." 
The Grand Duke Michael could not believe in 
this authority until Prondzynski affirmed it upon 



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ASSAULT ON WARSAW, 399 

his honour. General Berg was then sent with him 
to Warsaw, but returned to Wola, on finding that 
Krukowiecki could not in fact produce it in writing. 
Upon this, the latter sent in his resignation, which 
the Diet accepted, and was debating on the election of 
B. Niemoiowski, when the attack upon the suburb 
of Wola conunenced, and Prondzynski again de- 
manded from the Diet a written statement of its 
former verbal communication. The Diet com- 
plied reserving, however, to itself the right of ratifi- 
cation. Krukowiecki now made a treacherous use of 
the authority he had obtained, by addressing the 
following letter to the Emperor Nicholas : — " Sire, 
" charge dans ce moment meme du pouvoir de 
" parler a votre Majest6 Imperiale et Royale au 
*^ nom de la nation Polonaise, je m'adresse par son 
" Excellence M. le Mar^chal Comte Paszkiewicz 
" d'Erivan k votre coeur paternel. En nous soumet- 
" tantsans aucune condition k votre Majest^notre Roi, 
'* la nation Polonaise salt qu'Elle seule est a mSme 
" de faire oublier le pass^, de guferir les plaies pro- 
" fondes qui ont lacer6 ma patrie." Prondzynski 
consented even to carry this letter. 

The attack on the suburb of Wola continued. 
The Russians having forced one lunette^ assailed 
the others in flank with their artillery, and the 
Poles were thus obliged to abandon the second 
line after a desperate but useless struggle. The 
houses in the suburbs were then set on fire, 
and the combat continued in the gardens. "Rie 



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400 ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 

Russians thrice advanced to the barrier, but, 
deprived of the aid of their artillery, could make no 
progress against the 4th of the line, who gave no 
quarter, and they suffered severe loss. Towards ten 
o'clock at night Uminski, who had not lost a single 
lunette of the 2nd line, found himself in the rear of the 
enemy; and Malachowski sought to avail himself 
of this advantage to fall upon them, but found 
to his astonishment, that the greater part of the 
army as well as the whole reserve of artillery were 
already in Praga. The treachery of Krukowiecki 
was now beyond a doubt, and the Diet, informed 
of it by Malachowski, at length dismissed him, upon 
which he fled, in fear of the Russians, whom he 
had deceived no less than his country. By this 
time Prondzynski had returned with General Berg 
to Warsaw, and was much surprised at finding 
B. Niemoiowski in the place of Krukowiecki, with 
whom alone he would consent to treat ; and the new 
president on his part was equally perplexed, for the 
greater part of the troops having been induced 
to withdraw, the surrender of the city was be- 
coming indispensable. At length the Russian general 
consented to accept a convention, to be signed by 
the marshal of the Diet; but he declared that 
no force should compel him to such an act, and it 
became necessary to send after Krukowiecki, who 
was five miles distant. He, however, refused his 
signature to any thing but a definitive treaty of 
peace. Finally, the veteran Malachowski was pre- 



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ASSAULT ON, WARSAW. 401 

vailed upon to sign a convention in the name of 
the army, by which the Poles engaged to evacuate 
Warsaw and Praga, and retire into the palatinate 
of Plock, in order to carry on negociations with 
St. Petersburgh ; and the Russian general, on his 
part, accorded a truce of thirty-six hours, to give 
the Poles time to remove their military stores j a 
compliance, for which his desire to terminate the 
war by negociation can alone account, for the con- 
vention was not signed till eight o'clock in the 
morning of the 8th, whilst the Polish troops went 
off to Praga before six. At half-past eleven the 
Russians entered Warsaw ; at twelve the Poles left 
Praga for Modlin, followed by the members of the 
Diet, the editors of the press, and a great number 
of civilians. Prondzynski remained as a hostage ; 
and Krukowiecki, who would have accompanied the 
army, but for Dembinski threatening to shoot him, 
returned to Warsaw. Eleven other generals also 
remained there, amongst whom, though against his 
will, was Chrzanowski, whom B. Niemoiowski had 
dismissed, on the false report that during his gover- 
norship, he had prevented the people from arming, 
the measure having been Krukowiecki's, coun- 
tenanced by the Diet, in consequence of the alarm 
inspired by the intrigues of the Lelewel party. 

In the two days' assault, the loss of the Russians, 
according to their own return, was 10,000 killed 
and wounded, 500 of whom were officers. Their 
artillery suffered severely, thirty-nine officers, 400 

DD 



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402 ASSAULT ON WARSAW. 

cannoneers, and 800 horses having perished; but 
allowing for the little veracity of their bulletins, 
their loss may be estimated at double the number j 
and it is well known that not less than 12,000 of 
their wounded were lodged in the Warsaw hospitals. 
They computed the killed and wounded of the 
Poles to be 9000, that is nearly the same as their 
own ; the absurdity of which is manifest, when it 
is remembered that the Poles fought from behind 
the ramparts, and that the Russians were the 
assailants. But for Krukowiecki's treachery, the 
Poles might undoubtedly have held on some 
fifty hours, till the arrival of Ramorino, though 
at the risk of exposing the city to conflagration 
from the Russian cannon. 

Ramorino, who was still at Miedzyrzec on the 
7th, when he heard that the assault had commenced, 
instantly broke up, and arrived at Siedlce on the 8tli 
towards noon, having marched thirty-two miles in 
fourteen hours, his vanguard being already at Kalu- 
szyn. There he was informed of the fall of 
Warsaw, and the withdrawal of the troops to Mod- 
lih. He received no orders to join them there, nor 
could he have obeyed any such, without exposing 
himself to be attacked in flank from Praga, as also 
by Rosen's corps in pursuit, now increased to 35,000 
men, and by the troops coming from Lithuania. As 
he looked upon the station at Modlin osactd de sac 
between Prussia and these various hostile corps, he 
easily persuaded a council of war either to march to 



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BATTLE OF OPOLE, 403 

Zamosc for a winter campaign, or to cross, the Vis- 
tula at Zawichost, and join Rozycki in the palati- 
nate of Cracow. On the same day (the 9th) he 
arrived at Lukow, where he found an order from 
Mdachowski to go on to Modlin. With this he 
refused to comply, for the reasons above stated, 
as also because he could not collect his scattered 
troops in time. The appearance of Ramorino 
in the palatinate of Lublin was so unexpected, 
that several detachments of the enemy were made 
prisoners ; and a party who were watching a 
bridge thrown across the Vistula at Pogurze com- 
pletely taken by surprise by General Zawadzki,and 
but for his credulity, this accident might have 
changed the face of the war. The Russian com- 
mander immediately pretended an armistice, refused 
to fight, and commanded his men to stick their 
bayonets in the ground. Zawadzki hesitated. 
The Russian proposed to occupy the bridge in com- 
pany, and then having passed over first, suddenly 
broke it down, leaving 1000 men behind him 
prisoners. He probably borrowed the idea from 
the French, who had played the Austrians a similar 
trick in 1805, when they surprised the bridge over 
the Danube at Vienna. By this accident, Ramorino, 
who was advancing full of hope to the bridge, found 
himself at once cut off from Zamosc, and sej^rated 
from Zawadzki. In order to rejoin him, he on the 
15th approached Opok, where he checked the pur- 
suit of Rosen, but a threatened attack upon his 



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404 BATTLE OF JOSEFOW. 

own rear near Josefow, compelled him to retire 
within that town. A sharp struggle ensued in the 
streets, which lasted till the arrival of Zawadzki, 
and they then fought their way to Rachow, where, 
to give time for the construction of a bridge at 
Zawichost, they proposed to make a stand for at 
least two days. Their hungry, barefooted, and 
harassed battalions were, meanwhile, daily thinned 
by desertion, especially amongst the natives of the 
palatinate, who, partakers of the fatal prejudice 
which rested the hopes of the insurrection on the 
preservation of Warsaw, now regarded all as lost. 
Hearing that the enemy were on the march to fall 
upon his flank, Ramorinoleft Rachow the next day, 
and amid continued skirmishes, reached Borow 
opposite to Zawichost, and close to the frontier. 
The expected bridge had not been constructed, and 
the Poles, reduced to 11,000 men, with whom to 
oppose 35,000, entered Austria. But before they 
adopted this deplorable alternative as a solemn 
protest against foreign invasion, they opened a bat- 
tery of forty cannon, and mustered their battalions 
for the last fight of honour. The cannonading 
lasted several hours, until the ammunition was spent, 
and then came a long pause. 

History, which registers with an iron pen the march 
of human affairs, may sometimes record man's feel- 
ings on such a solemn occasion as the present. " The 
*^ Russian cannon," relates an eye witness*, "was 

* Colonel Lach Szynna. 



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BAtTLE OF LAGOW. 405 

" Still heard at intervals in the distance, echoing 
** along the ridge of mountains, and, as its sound 
" died away, it seemed for the moment to the 
" Polish patriot, that the last blow for his country 
" had been struck, and that his efforts had terminated, 
" as the anxieties of man terminate when the final 
" struggle of life is over. The patriotic songs, so 
" often heard in the Polish camps, were hushed ; 
" here and there horses strayed, deprived of their 
" riders ; — the soldiers leaned on their arms in 
" mute despondency ; many of the veterans who 
** had served in the campaigns of Napoleon,^ broke 
" their muskets, while others buried their swords 
'^ in secret places, in the hope that they would again 
" be required in the service of their country." They 
passed the frontier in the night, and laid down their 
arms at Chwalowice. Prince Czartoryski did not 
accompany them; he went over to Zawichost, 
animating Rozycki's corps by his presence, and thus 
fulfilling the Pole's oath, to fight so long as a foot 
of his native land remained unenslaved. 

Ramorino being thus beyond the boundary, a 
considerable part of the Rosen corps marched into 
the palatinate of Cracow, to assist Rudiger in dispos- 
ing of Rozycki. With a force scarcely 6000 strong, 
this brave general still made head against the over- 
whelming numbers, and on the 22nd of September,, 
encountered Rudiger with 18,000 men at Lagow. On 
this occasion C. Rozycki again distinguished him- 
self. The Russians^ since the battle of Ilza, had 



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406 RESIGiNATION OF MALACIIOWSKI. 

lield him in such dread, that at the appearance of one 
Volhynian squadron, thirteen squadrons of their 
cavalry made a sudden halt, excusing themselves 
by saying, " bielu czapku ne dajat pardmiy^ (white 
caps give no quarter.) They fought all day with 
unwonted animosity, but fresh reinforcements 
pouring in against them, the Poles finally followed 
their comrades into Austria. 

As soon as Malachowski reached Modlin on the 
9th, he resigned the command, deeming himself un- 
worthy to retain it, after having signed the capi- 
tulation of Warsaw, and expressing a hope that 
his example might be a warning to younger 
generals. At a military council for the election 
of a new generalissimo, Dembinski again displayed 
his want of prudence, by declaring that the army 
ought to be independent of the civil powers, while 
on the other hand it was urged that the existence 
of the Diet and Government were, in the actual 
crisis, essential to the national dignity. Two par- 
ties, the one for war, the other for negociation, 
then arose, and the former, though the most numer- 
ous, yet, owing to Dembinski's imprudent expres- 
sion, voted with the latter in favour of General 
Rybinski, an able officer, but much in years. 

On the 11th, eleven senators and seventy deputies, 
who, true to their manifesto, accompanied the army, 
met in a monastery at Zakroczym, where they took 
measures for discharging, as far as they could, their 
high trust. It was agreed to publish a periodical. 



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MEETING OF THE DIET AT ZAKROCZYM. 407 

called, " Poland is not lost while we yet live ;" and 
an order was instituted with the motto usque ad 
finemy to be conferred on such as should persevere 
to the last. A circular, addressed to foreign powers, 
was also drawn up, which contained, amongst other 
things, an epitome of the struggle. " We scraped 
" the walls of our houses," thus it recapitulated 
their efforts, " and searched old ruins besprinkled 
" with the blood of our forefathers, in order to obtain 
*' saltpetre. We learned to forge weapons and to 
" cast cannon, — our churches yielded their silver, and 
" our widows their mite, — with scythes we attacked 
" the foe, and wrested the greater part of our muskets 
•* from his hands. We gave arms to our children and 
" tender women, — we destroyed the harvest in the 
*^ ear, and trod under foot the germ of future growth ; 
** and abandoned, amid these struggles and adversities, 
" in vain imploring support from other nations, must 
" we now believe that justice does not exist on earth, 
" that we do not live-in a civilized age ? In ancient 
*' times it was held infamous to despair of thecountry's 
" rescue; happen what may, the Poles shall never be 
" found guilty of this crime in the most desperate 
" situation." 

Informed of Ramorino's entry into Austria, 
Rybinski would gladly have joined Rozycki in 
the palatinate of Cracow ; yet, instead of at once 
attempting it, he resorted to negociations. At first 
the Russians appeared to grant every request, always 
contriving, however, to start some difficulty involv- 
ing a fresh reference to Paszkiewicz, in order to 



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408 NEGOCIATION. 

amuse the Poles, till Ramorino being disposed of, 
and themselves encompassed at Modlin, submission 
would be inevitable. At length an armistice of four 
weeks was agreed to, during which time the Poles 
were to evacuate Modlin, and withdraw to the palati- 
nates of Lublin, Cracow, and Kalish. On the 17th, 
however, Rybinski was informed that Paszkiewicz 
would cede only the. southern part of the Lublin 
palatinate, and in this arrangement, to prevent further 
delay, he acquiesced. But the intelligence of Ramo- 
rino's retirement into Austria having in the mean 
time reached the Russian field marshal, he now 
insisted that that event would suffice to secure peace 
in the southern provinces. Disgusted with such 
bad faith, the Poles abandoned Modlin, reached 
Plock on the 23rd, and resolved to force their pas- 
sage to Cracow. Dembinski crossed the Vistula 
with the vanguard, and advanced the same day to 
Gostyn, having destroyed several detachments of 
Cossacks. Paszkiewicz, alarmed at their resolution, 
endeavoured once more to paralyze it by negocia- 
tions, for listening to which, the generalissimo was 
dismissed by the government. The officers, how- 
ever, would not obey Uminski, the general appointed 
to succeed him ; and Dembinski, the fittest for the 
task, was recalled ; but vexation at this delay, which 
rendered the junction with Rozycki impracticable, 
threw him into a fit of illness, and, in consequence, 
Rybinski was re-appointed. Unconditional submis- 
jsion to Nicholas, not as constitutional king of Poland, 



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ENTRY OF THE iPOLES INTO PRUSSIA. 409 

but as emperor of Russia^ was demanded by Paszkie- 
wicz, and indignantly rejected, by both army and 
Diet, who, choosing rather voluntary exile, now turned 
their steps towards the Prussian territory. The honour 
of striking the last blow was reserved for Dembinski, 
and the enemy overtook him on the 4th of October, 
as he marched in the rear. Previous to the 
conflict, Paszkiewicz sent him a message remon- 
strating against such ill-timed obstinacy, to which 
Dembinski bade the messenger reply, " that if the 
" marshal thought he had now to do with his 
" kindred hordes of Asia, he would find himself 
" mistaken; that the Poles struggled for liberty and 
" independence, and if heaven yet withheld success, 
'' they would rather seek shelter among civilized 
" nations than yield to insulting conditions." He 
then opened a heavy fire of artillery, and com- 
manded the cavalry to charge. Had Rybinski 
joined with his whole force, that last battle 
might have been one of the most destructive to 
the Russians. In the afternoon of the 5th of 
October, about 24,000 Poles crossed the frontier, 
amongst whom, scarcely 8000 remained of those 
who had fought at Grochow ; and in the 4th of 
the line, about 200 only, of the 2000 who com- 
menced the insurrection. So long as the soldiers 
were permitted to retain their arms, they bore their 
fate with fortitude, but when summoned to surrender 
them, as the word of command for the last time 
sounded in their ears, they burst, like children, into 



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410 SURRENDER OF HODLIN AND ZAMOSC. 

loud laments. They wept, they embraced their 
chargers, those faithful companions of their watch 
and toil, some even died broken hearted on the spot ; 
and no unprejudiced spectator but must have grieved 
that the colossal work so gloriously begun, should 
end here and thus. The attention of the European 
powers was dmwn to this spot, and even those least 
friendly to Poland, respected her affliction, and were 
silent,— all but France^— Sebastiani was not ashamed 
to utter from the tribune, " Tordre regne k Varsovie." 

The garrisons of M odlin and 2iamosc capitulated 
on an assurance of full amnesty to every individual 
within the ramparts; but no sooner had Zamosc 
surrendered, than all the Volhy nians and Podolians, 
with shaven heads, and branded with numbers, 
were sent into the Interior of the empire, which in 
European idiom, implies Siberia, the mines, or 
Caucasus. 

Thus were the Poles once more enslaved, and 
doomed to inscribe with their blood the record of 
their unavailing struggles. Their failure was, in the 
first instance, owing to the overwhelming numbers 
of the Russian army. The infantry alone consists 
of thirty-two divisions — twenty-six of the line, 
three of grenadiers, and three of the imperial guard j — 
the cavalry of twenty-one divisions, three of them 
attached to the imperial guard. Each infantry divi- 
sion contains six regiments of three battalions, the 
third battalion constituting the reserve. During 
the late struggle, the whole reserve was called out 



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STRENGTH OF THE UUSSIAN ARMY. 411 

to complete and re*organize the three corps of Rosen, 
Pahlen, and Szachowskoi ; and thus each division 
had eighteen battalions, which, with the artillery 
attached to thirty-six pieces, might be calculated at 
15,000 men : aad the twenty-two divisions, there- 
fore, which took part in the war, amounted to 
330,000 men. Every cavalry division is composed 
of four regiments, of six squadrons each, and thus, 
at the lowest estimate, one cavalry division has 
4000 horsemen, and the fifteen, which had entered 
Poland, would therefore contain 60,000, without 
counting 30,000 Cossacks. Hence, during the period 
of eight .months, not less than 420,000 Russians 
had been poured into Poland, of whom fewer than 
200,000 escaped death by the sword or by cholera, 
and 40,000 were captured by the Poles ; a fact 
worthy pf remark when it is recollected that Napo- 
leon, at the head of 300,000 men, never made 1 0,000 
Russian prisoners. Since Poland, possessing only 
30,000 troops at the outbreak of the insurrection, 
did that which had liever been done before, might 
she not also, but for her own errors and foreign 
treachery, have achieved what seemed equally im- 
possible — the defeat of her giant foe ? The radical 
mistake, the making the^war defensive within the 
triangle of Warsaw, Modlin, and Serock, lay with 
Chlopicki, which involved the gradual exhaustion of 
the four palatinates thus left to struggle against all 
Russia. Still Polish valour achieved prodigies, and 
several times reduced the enemy to the verge of defeat. 



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412 BARBAROUS CONDUCT OF NICHOLAS. 

as at Grochow, where the opportunity was lost by 
Krukowiecki's absence and Chlopicki's wound ; — after 
the victory at Dembe Wielkie j in the expedition 
against the guards ; and, finally, when the passage 
of the Vistula was permitted by Skrzynecki, whilst 
relying on the promise of intervention, that most 
insidious and deadly blow dealt by the French 
Government. 

No sooner did Nicholas find Poland in his power, 
than the work of vengeance began, whilst no arm 
was lifted, nor a remonstrance heard in her behalf. 
The ancient hall, where the senate used to assemble, 
was dismantled ; — ^the army was disbanded ;-~ofiicer8, 
soldiers, and the flower of the Polish youth, enrolled 
in Asiatic regiments. All institutions tending to 
promote science, literature, and the national lan- 
guage, the public and private libraries at Warsaw 
and Pulawy, the museums, — all were plundered to 
enrich Moscow. The national colours and armorial 
bearings were destroyed; — ancient names of pro- 
vinces abolished, and the constitution shut up in an 
iron chest under a double lock*. The national reli- 
gion was not spared, — the tombs were violated, and 
their mouldering relics scattered to the winds. Fami- 
lies were transported; — children torn from their 
parents to be bred up as janissaries of the Czar^ 

* Nicholas erected a monument to Alexander in Moscow, 
which represents him as treading under foot the Polish constitu- 
tion enclosed in an iron chest. 



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BARBAROUS CONDUCT OF NICHOLAS, 413 

and murderers of their countrymen ; young girls 
carried off by conscription, and consigned to the 
paid assassins of their fathers and brothers. Thou- 
sands of noble victims pine in Siberia and Cau- 
casus ; and, finally, all that history records of Chris- 
, tian martyrdom, or of Jewish and Moorish extirpa- 
tion, has been converted into a permanent system 
by Nicholas*. 

Amazed at the extent of Polish emigration, he 
offered amnesty to privates and non-commissioned 
officers ; but they knew his heart, and would not 
trust his word. Prussia then joined against these 
now defenceless warriors, whose personal liberty she 
had guaranteed to Rybinski. The officers were se- 
parated from the men ; and these being next per- 
suaded to divide into small parties, were then in 
several cases driven back into Poland by Prussian 
bayonets. On the 11th of December, 1831, one of 

* The following anecdote, given to the writer of these pages 
by a party concerned in it, may serve to illustrate the character 
of Nicholas. Whilst yet Czarewitch, he had a pregnant bitch, 
one of whose puppies he had promised to Count A. P. (since 
dead) at that time Grand Master of the Ceremonies at the Court 
of St. Petersburgh. The Count happening to call upon him on a 
winter*8 morning, found his 'Imperial Highness employed in 
throwing the puppies one by one upon the chimney fire, and 
burning them to death, out of pity to the poor animal which had 
given birth to six young ones. What were the pastimes of Nero 
in comparison with those of Nicholas? No doubt it is from 
mmilar motives of commiseration for Polish mothers, that he 
destroys their children. 



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414 MURDER OF THE POLES AT FISCHAU. * 

these parties being surrounded by Prussian infantry 
at Fischau, and conunanded to return to Poland or 
be fired at, announced their determination to retire 
to France or to die, and refused to advance a step. 
The bloody scene commenced. The unarmed Poles 
stood firm, calling on God to witness their murder, 
whilst the Prussians fired, killed six on the spot, 
and wounded seven dangerously. The relics of the 
gallant 4th of the line were shut up for two yeaxs in 
the fortress of Graudenz, and condemned to labour 
as convicts. Scarcely 7000 escaped ; but these were 
no sooner out of Prussia than they exchanged per- 
secution for sympathy and honour. No conquering 
army was ever greeted with more enthusiasm than 
were these sufferers by the Germans. From every 
town the citizens went out for miles to meet them, 
with the flags of the different guilds entwined with 
the Polish colours. Their path was strewed with 
flowers, and their exploits sung in their native lan- 
guage, while music and artillery proclaimed their 
entry. Praises of Poland mingled with prayers for 
her in the churches, the poets mourned her fate ; and 
all classes felt so deeply for the distress and want of 
the patriots, many of whom had loirt immense wealth, 
that it was proposed to raise a statue at Frankfort- 
on-the^Main to a compassionate German*, who had 
taken off his own coat to put it on a Pole. In their 
sympathy was much prophetic wisdom. Six months 

* See " Letters of B6ni&." 



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WORDS OF PRINCE CZARTORYSKI. 415 

after the fall of Warsaw, their ungrateful princes 
deprived the true-hearted people of their liberties. 

It may be asked/ where does liberty now exist on 
the continent ; nay, whether Russian intrigue is not 
creeping^ up the cliffs of Albion ? The tears and 
blood of Europe will reply, and assign the place 
which the Polish struggle ought to hold in the his- 
tory of the world. For themselves, the Poles may 
address the nations in the words of Prince Czar- 
toryski, " Behold your cause and ours! We 
" appear before you covered with our blood ! The 
" injustice done to us is known to you ; — ^for our 
" courage and generosity ask our enemies ;"— and 
conclude with the poet (Campbell,) 

* * * proudly may Polonia's bands 
Throw down their swords at Europe's feet in scorn, 
Saying — ^^ Russia from the metal of these brands 
" Shall forge the fetters of your sons unbotn ; 
" Our setting star is your misfortunes' rising mom." 



FINIS. 



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LONDON: 
PBXNTBO BY T. BRBTTBLL, R0PBBT BTRBBT, BAYM ARKBT. 



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I 



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